By Spy Uganda
The internet is awash with pictures of hundreds of Ugandans stranded in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Europe, Asia and other parts of the world as a result of the Coronavirus (COVID-19), which led to the closure of Entebbe International Airport and all Uganda’s Points of Entry.
Many of them cannot return to Uganda until the government through the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Works and Transport resolves to lift the ban on passenger planes at Entebbe Airport and entry of travellers through Uganda’s borders.
This website has established that as of Wednesday August 5, 2020, over 20 Ugandans from different European cities were still stranded in Brussels, Blegium, after being denied to board a Brussels Airlines flight, because the flight didn’t get permission to fly passengers to Entebbe Airport, yet it was to pick some from there.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs last week repatriated various groups of Ugandans who had stranded in Saudi Arabia, West Africa, South Africa and other parts of the world, although the repatriation process has since been suspended so as to decongest Entebbe airport and all designated quarantine centres in Uganda, which are currently overcrowded.
The decision however affected an estimated 1,500 returnees who were forced to reschedule their return flights. Many of these are from North America, Qatar, United Arab Emirates, China and Malaysia.
Although in the beginning the plan was that only 300 Ugandans would return every two weeks, according to the Ministry of Health guidelines, in a space of just one week, around 1,000 people had returned and filled up the gazetted quarantine facilities, according to the permanent secretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ambassador Patrick Mugoya.
He noted that repatriation of Ugandans would only resume after health officials have attended to those currently in the quarantine centers.
These include those from Turkey, South Africa, the United Arab Emirates, Switzerland, India, Italy and the United Kingdom. As per the Ministry of Health’s guidelines, all returnees are supposed to undergo a mandatory two weeks institutional quarantine.