The repatriation exercise of Ugandans stranded abroad due to the COVID-19 pandemic is set to resume today, 18 July 2020. This exercise had been put on halt by the Ministry of Health for a period of two weeks to enable proper quarantining of returnees who had so far arrived in the county.
According to a statement released by government, the resuming repatriation exercise will continue with 500 Ugandans expected to return this weekend.
“The repatriation exercise of Ugandans stranded abroad due to the Covid-19 pandemic is set to resume. This exercise has been halted by the Ministry of Health for a period of two weeks to enable proper quarantining of returnees who had so far arrived in the county,” the statement read.
Due to the overwhelming number of returnees at the quarantine centers, the repatriation exercise was put on hold for two weeks to enable de-congestion. All returnees are to undergo mandatory quarantine for two weeks as standard procedure, and the designated facilities that can only accommodate 300 returnees every two weeks were full to capacity.
In the press statement from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Wednesday, the ministry will resume the repatriation on Saturday this week. As stated, on Saturday, July 18, there will be a repatriation flight from Washington D.C in the USA and another one from Doha -Qatar in the Middle East. On Sunday July 19, there will be a repatriation flight from Ottawa, Canada, while additional flights will be communicated after the above.
Mr. Patrick Mugoya, the Permanent Secretary Ministry of Foreign Affairs said there are efforts being made to engage the Ministry of Health to increase quarantine capacity for returnees. He said the 500 Ugandans returning this weekend are from United States of America, Canada, Qatar and the Middle East.
A number of Ugandans who are stuck abroad say they are facing a lot of distress over the delayed repatriation, with the most recent severe case of a Ugandan domestic worker in Jordan that hanged herself.