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Gov’t halts return of stranded Ugandans from abroad

A total of 270 Ugandan Nationals returned on Friday aboard a Fly Emirates aircraft from the United Arab Emirates. PHOTO via @UgandaMFA

Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | The government has suspended the return of Ugandans who are stranded abroad. According to a statement released on Friday by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the country will not handle any new returnees after July 4, 2020.

The move is intended to control congestion in quarantine facilities. The Ministry of Health gazetted 37 quarantine centres in Kampala and Entebbe that have a total capacity of 2,500 rooms.

It is estimated that around 1,500 returnees will be affected by the decision. These who will have to reschedule their travel are Ugandans from North America, Qatar, United Arab Emirates, China and Malaysia who were scheduled to arrive next week.

Ambassador Patrick Mugoya, the Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs says that the return of Ugandans will resume after health officials have attended to those in quarantine centres.

At the start of the return process of Ugandans and residents, the Ministry of Health had planned to have a total of 300 Ugandans return every two weeks. However, in a space of one week, more than 300 people have returned and filled up the quarantine centres.

Those that have already returned are from South Africa, Turkey, India, United Kingdom, Switzerland, Italy and the United Arab Emirates. Today, Ugandans in New Dehli, India are expected to return. 13 of the returnees have so far tested positive for COVID-19.

All returnees will have to undergo mandatory institutional quarantine for two weeks.



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