Uganda seizes passports of travellers from countries with high virus - National | NTV

Uganda seizes passports of travellers from countries with high virus cases

By FRANKLIN DRAKU

Sunday March 22, 2020

 

Government on Saturday said they had started confiscating passports of travellers from countries with high cases of coronavirus in attempt to prevent the spread of the pandemic that has wreaked havoc across the world.

This comes amid reports of travellers escaping from designated quarantines centres before end of 14 days mandatory isolation.

“We have withheld all passports of travellers from category one countries until completion of the 14 days of mandatory quarantine. We hope this eliminates chances of escape from designated areas. I want to assure you that Ministry of Health is doing all it takes to keep Uganda safe,” Minister of State for Primary Health Care Dr Joyce Moriku Kaducu tweeted on Saturday.


According to the minister, Entebbe International Airport was peaceful and orderly on Saturday as travellers were following directives from the Health ministry officials regarding quarantines.


“A list of hotel options and telephone numbers have been provided before and on arrival to allow them choose their preferred institutions,” she added.

Her statement came just hours after the Police Chief Political Commissar Asan Kasingye tweeted about the arrest of eight Chinese nationals who had reportedly escaped from designated quarantine centres.

Assistant Inspector General of Police (AIGP) Kasingye said the suspects were arrested in Zombo District enroute to Democratic Republic of Congo.

“Eight Chinese who had escaped from quarantine have been arrested in Zombo, enroute to DR Congo. They will be charged in our Courts of law,” AIGP Kasingye said.
Minister of Health, Dr Jane Ruth Aceng said on Saturday that there were over 25 category one countries by Saturday (March 21).

“The category one countries are very fluid; they keep changing. We have criteria that we use to run the affected countries and every Wednesday, we run the countries and put out a list for those travelling. Today they are over 25 category one countries,” Dr Aceng said in her statement at the national prayer day against the spread of coronavirus at State House Entebbe.

Some of the countries in the category one include Italy, France, South Korea, China, USA, UK, Netherlands, Switzerland, Sweden, Belgium, Germany, Spain, Norway, Austria, Malaysia, Pakistani, and San Marino.


“Over 100 samples tested (for COVID-19). All are negative. Samples are run three times to be sure they are negative. Sometimes I ask my teams repeat again just to be sure.


They have tested and reaffirmed they are negative, “she added.