By Spy Uganda
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Health have momentarily suspended the repatration of Ugandans stranded abroad due to the COVID-19 lockdown, as a result of congestion at most of the quarantine centres in Uganda.
It should be noted that the government embarked on a move to repatriate thousands of Ugandans who are stuck abroad following the suspension of passenger flights at Entebbe International Airport, which was announced in in March by President Yoweri Museveni, as one of the measures to prevent the spread of Coronavirus.
However, as government gradually relaxes the COVID-19 lockdown, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) announced that it would roll out a campaign to repatriate Ugandans stuck abroad and so far, several of them have since returned home from South Africa, the United Kingdom and other countries.
But we have since learnt that the quarantine centres that were designated for these returnees by the Ministry of Health are currently so congested and as way of decongesting, the Foreign Affairs ministry has suspended the repatriation exercise for the time being.
The announcement about the same was made in a statement issued by the MFA Permanent Secretary Amb. Patrick Mugoya, on Saturday July 3rd, 2020, which reads in part thus; “GUIDANCE ON THE MATTER OF RETURNING UGANDANS WHO ARE STRANDED ABROAD DUE TO THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC
As you are aware, the exercise of repatriating Ugandans who have been stranded abroad following the outbreak of the COVID- 19 pandemic has been going on smoothly and by Saturday 4th July 2020 we will have successfully returned close to 1000 citizens and legal residents.
Accordingly, the relevant MDAs that are caretaking the returnees have requested that we pause for a break in the arrivals for a period of approximately 2 weeks starting 4th July 2020 to as to enable them efficiently manage the numbers that are already in mandatory quarantine.
Repatriations will therefore resume after decongesting the quarantine facilities.
In this regard, you are advised to temporarily halt all repatriation flights that had been scheduled after 4th July 2020 and to await further guidance on when to resume.”