By Agnes Kiconco
KIU, Main Campus - Regarding the overwhelming COVID-19 cases in India, the Health Minister, Dr. Jane Ruth Aceng, on Friday, 30th April, announced that starting Saturday, only those Ugandans who have been in India for treatment are the only nationals that will be allowed back in the country.
"All passengers/ passenger flights originating from India, as of 1st May 2021 midnight, are suspended until further notice," said Dr. Aceng.
This measure is being undertaken to prevent a resurgence of the COVID-19 pandemic.
"No travelers from India shall be allowed into Uganda regardless of the route of travel. All travelers who may have been in India or traveled through India in the last 14 days regardless of the route taken shall not be allowed into Uganda," she added.
All travelers arriving from India before the suspension date regardless of the route of travel are expected to be in possession of a negative PCR COVID-19 test certificate that is digitally verifiable conducted within 120 hours from the time of sample removal.
All those who test positive shall undergo isolation at a government-approved isolation center at their own cost while those who test negative shall undergo self-quarantine under the supervision of the Ministry of Health with mandatory re-testing between 5 to 10 days.
The exempted flights are; cargo flights where the crew does not disembark, technical stops where travelers do not disembark, aircraft in a state of emergency, operations related to humanitarian aid, medical evacuation, and diplomatic flights approved by the Appropriate Authority plus nationals returning home after medical treatment in India.
The Minister also said, "travelers from the USA, United Kingdom, United Arab Emirates, Turkey, South Africa, Ethiopia, South Sudan, and Tanzania should consider postponing non-essential travel to Uganda."
Any traveler from the above countries including Ugandan nationals will be subjected to a PCR COVID-19 test at the Points of Entry including Entebbe International Airport.
Though these measures are expected to curb the resurgence of the virus, the ban on flights to India will be a hindrance to some businesses and the tourism sector which had started picking up.