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US Embassy, UK tell citizens of available flights to leave Uganda

FILE PHOTO: Entebbe airport

Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | The United States Embassy in Uganda and United Kingdom mission have informed their citizens in Uganda of the availability of flights if they want to leave the country.

The development comes after President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni’s directive last week that all outbound and inbound commercial flights be stopped in an effort to fight the spread of COVID -19.

The US embassy posted that “availability of seats on a commercial flight with Qatar Airways from Entebbe to Doha, Qatar on Wednesday, March 25 at a time to be determined by the airline.”

On its part, the UK mission in Uganda posted on its twitter handle of a KLM flight today at 11:30 pm. It said “KLM have informed us a flight is leaving at 23:30pm today 23/03/2020. It cannot be booked online. Go to ticketing desk at the airport after 6pm to book. Space limited, we cannot guarantee bookings.”

As Uganda shuts its borders and most of the public spaces to contain the COVID-19, some countries are advising their citizens to leave the country. Bars, churches and other places where people congregate have been stopped.

Other countries including US and UK have also restricted these spaces.

Vianney Luggya, the Uganda Civil Aviation Authority spokesperson told URN that the KLM flight is a special clearance granted through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs under the emergency category for the European Union staff who are leaving the country. It will not come in with any passengers.

He said the Qatar Airways flight has been cancelled. Other flights allowed in Uganda are cargo and for the United Nations.

The US Embassy in Uganda said in a statement that it was “liaising with the Ugandan government to allow the plane to land at and depart from Entebbe International Airport.”

One Ugandan has tested positive for COVID-19. On Monday, reports showed that 350,000 around the world had been infected, while 100,000 had recovered from the disease. Some 15,000 people have died.

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