By Frank Kamuntu
Kampala: The government of Uganda is set to resume the repatriation of Ugandans that have been stranded in outside countries following the COVID-19 lockdown.
This follows a two-week break that was aimed at freeing up space in the gazetted quarantine centers.
According to the minister of state for foreign affairs Henry Okello Oryem, some of the people in quarantine centers will be cleared to leave the premises, thus creating room for others.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs released a statement on Wednesday saying that the exercise will resume on Saturday 18th, July.
“The Ministry of Foreign Affairs wishes to inform the general public that the repatriation exercise of Ugandans stranded abroad due to COVID-19 pandemic is set to resume,” the statement reads in part.
Government recently noted that all returnees must indicate through repatriation forms at their embassies choice of the facility in Uganda where they would be quarantined for 14 days after returning.
According to Dr Richard Mugahi the head of COVID-19 quarantine response at the Ministry of Health, Uganda has so far repatriated a total of 1,295 citizens from various countries, since the exercise began on June 23.
Among the retunee, 22 tested positive for COVID-19 and these included 20 Ugandans from Afghanistan and two from South Africa.
A total of 200 people who were under quarantine have been cleared and, if the status quo remains (no positives), Mugahi said they will discharge 70% of the people who are nearing completion of their 14-day mandatory quarantine.
After the global outbreak of COVID-19, travel restriction measures left a number of Ugandans stuck abroad. However, the Government later took a decision to evacuate Ugandans from some hard-hit countries in a phased manner.