Entebbe, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | Ugandans returning from abroad will no longer have to obtain a negative COVID-19 certificate before entering the country.
This new development comes after many of the returning Ugandans reported that they were unable to procure the tests. In some countries like United States, United Kingdom and South Africa, the price of testing for COVID-19 costs as much as $200.
Richard Mugahi, the head of COVID-19 quarantine centres and also the assistant commissioner of health services at the ministry of health says that they decided to stop asking the returnees for the certificates after several Ugandans said they could not access them.
Finally home! Safe arrival from Johannesburg and Lusaka last evening #WelcomeHomeUG
Happy to bring back home full flight of Ugandan nationals formerly stranded in Southern Africa…..Flying the Crane to the Pearl of Africa. pic.twitter.com/mo7XbZ7Sv7
— Uganda Airlines (@UG_Airlines) July 3, 2020
According to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, 2,400 Ugandans have registered to return home. A group from South Africa returned last night from South Africa.
So far over 170 stranded Ugandans have returned from Turkey, Netherlands, Belgium, Sudan, Afghanistan and South Africa.
Last month, Jane Ruth Aceng, the Minister of Health during the COVID-19 status national brief said that all Ugandans returning would have to undergo COVID-19 test to avoid spreading the disease.
Dr Mugahi says that since all returnees will not be able to avail a negative they will be testing all Ugandans who will arrive in the country.
“It would be nice for them to have the tests but they do not. So we shall be testing them twice. On arrival into the country and also on day 14 when their first institutional quarantine should be ending,” Dr Mugahi said.
However, for some air carriers like Emirates, all passengers need to be tested before they embark on any flight. According to the ministry of internal affairs, the majority of the returnees are expected to use Ethiopia Airways.