Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | Uganda Airlines has announced planned suspension of flights to Mogadishu, Kilimanjaro, Mombasa, Zanzibar and Nairobi due to the coronavirus –COVID 19 pandemic.
“Following the spread of COVID-19 and the control measures put in place by various countries to contain its spread; In compliance with health and safety guidelines, operational requirements and regulatory obligations, we wish to communicate changes to flight operations,” reads a statement on the website of Uganda Airlines.
According to the statement, Uganda Airlines flights to Kilimanjaro will be suspended effective March 20, 2020, Mombasa effective March 22, 2020 and Zanzibar effective March 23rd, 2020.
“Flight No. UR520/521 Entebbe to Mogadishu is suspended effective Thursday 19th March 2020. All operations to Somalia suspended until further notice. Reduced Frequency for Entebbe, Nairobi, Flight No UR206/207 (Afternoon) will be suspended effective Monday 23rd March till further notice. The rest of the flights UR202/203 (Morning) and UR204/205 (Evening) will remain in operation,” further reads the statement.
The statement posted on Tuesday evening also says Uganda Airline flight No UR360/361 from Entebbe Airport to Bujumbura will be suspended effective March 22, 2020 until further notice. Since its outbreak in December 2019 in Wuhan, China, 173,344 people across over 152 countries have tested positive for corona virus infection.
In Africa, over 300 cases in 25 countries have been recorded. The cases in Rwanda and Kenya have triggered Uganda which has to date not recorded a case. A number of big events have been called off. President Yoweri Museveni is scheduled to announce travel restrictions and the country’s preparedness plan later this afternoon.
Health Ministry, Dr. Jane Ruth Aceng has called for calm in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak in some East African countries, saying the ministry is moving the country’s preparedness level from ordinary to advanced level.
More travel bans to countries with high COVID-19 cases are expected. Recently, Uganda issued travel restrictions to people residing in 16 countries including Italy, San Marino, Iran, South Korea, France, China, Germany, Spain, Belgium, USA, United Kingdom, Netherlands, Sweden, Norway, Austria, and Malaysia.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) which declared the disease a pandemic believes that collective effort in fighting the disease can have a big impact. Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, the WHO Director general recently called upon the entire world to play their part in fighting the disease.
“This disease affects everybody. Governments, people and companies all have a part to play. This is a pandemic that can be controlled and overcome if everyone plays their part,” Dr. Tedros said.