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Thursday,December 03,2020 19:32 PM

More Ugandans to be repatriated

By Cecilia Okoth

Added 5th August 2020 07:42 PM

More Ugandans to be repatriated

Some of the Ugandans who been repatriated from outside. Courtesy photo

Ugandans stranded in America, Canada and the Caribbean shall be repatriated back to the country mid this month. 

According to a notice issued by the embassy of Uganda in Washington DC, plans are underway to have them return by August 18, aboard Ethiopian Airlines from Dulles International airport in Washington. 

The flights set to depart between August 15 and 17, shall arrive in Entebbe on August 18 at 5.30pm, according to Margaret Kafeero, the consular/public diplomacy, embassy of Uganda in Washington DC. 

"Ugandan Embassies in North America (Uganda Embassy in Washington D.C, Uganda Permanent Mission to the U.N in New York and Uganda High Commission in Ottawa) are working with an international travel management company SATGURU TRAVEL to arrange a special repatriation flight operated by Ethiopian Airlines for registered stranded nationals of Uganda, non-Ugandan resident permit holders and dependent passes," Kafeero said.  

She urged Ugandans and resident permit holders to register with the embassy prior to contacting the travel agent for booking and to observe the August 11 deadline for flight bookings. 

Phased return  

When Uganda registered its first COVID-19 case on March 21, Government resolved to temporarily close the Entebbe International Airport as well as other inland borders to scale down on the number of infections coming into the country. 

This left a number of Ugandans stuck abroad, and whereas government deliberated on plans to evacuate Ugandans from some hard-hit countries, the process would be done in a phased manner. 

The foreign affairs ministry has since issued standard guidelines to all Missions on the conduct of the exercise to allow the return of an average of 300 persons every fortnight. 

Quarantine centres full  

Dr Richard Mugahi, who heads the COVID-19 quarantine response at the health ministry said a total of 3,060 Ugandans and legal residents had been repatriated as of August 4. 

Whereas they continue to receive more people coming in, Mugahi said the public quarantine centres are currently full with a total of 1,750 people and that space will only be available from August 12, onwards.  

He however said this does not affect those that booked private quarantine centres. 

 According to the foreign affairs ministry consular and public diplomacy department, 285 people are expected to return from Dubai on August 7. 

A total of 71 people are expected to return from Southern Africa and 22 from Mogadishu on August 10 and 151 from Oman on August 12.   

Status report  

  Uganda has so far registered a total of 1,213 confirmed COVID-19 cases. 

This was after results tested on August revealed 10 new cases. They include a truck driver who arrived from Tanzania via the Mutukula point of entry, one returnee from South Sudan, six alerts and two contacts to previously confirmed cases. 

The confirmed alerts were from Adjumani, Amuru, Gulu and Masaka districts while the contacts are from Kampala metropolitan area. 

A total of 16 foreign truck drivers including 10 Kenyans and six Tanzanians who tested positive at various points of entry were returned to their respective countries of origin. 

Uganda has registered 1,102 recoveries and five deaths so far. 

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