KAMPALA – Uganda has restricted visitors from some countries with what it terms high cases of coronavirus, including China, France, Germany, Iran, Italy, South Korea, and Spain.
“Government has decided to ask travelers from the affected countries not to come to Uganda because the high cases they are reporting can easily be imported into the country,” the country’s Health Minister Jane Ruth Aceng said.
A revised advisory released by the Health Ministry increased the number of high-risk countries from 7 to 16, including the United States and the United Kingdom. The other countries include the Netherlands, Sweden, Norway, Austria, and Malaysia. In the new statement, travelers from these countries are urged to consider “postponing non-essential travel to Uganda.”
Dr. Aceng said those who insist on visiting Uganda from these countries would have to self-quarantine at their own cost for 14 days either at home or at a government facility. Ugandans in affected countries are not exempt from the travel restriction.
President Museveni has since urged foreign tourists coming to Uganda to consider the current world crisis caused by the spread of Coronavirus, and stay away as the country joins international efforts to combat the pandemic to stabilize the crisis.
“There’s no shortcut about Coronavirus,” the President said.
“Let’s loose the money and save lives,” Mr. Museveni said, cautioning companies and those dealing with foreign tourists already in the country to follow precautions put in place to avoid catching and spreading the deadly virus.
The President was talking during a meeting with investors and the business community at Entebbe on Thursday, March 12.
Uganda also postponed the 2020 United Nations G77 and China Summit scheduled for mid-April in the capital of Kampala due to the coronavirus threat, the minister said.
More than 6,000 delegates from 136 member states were due to attend.
Rwanda Air, Kenya Airways and Morocco’s Royal Air Maroc are among some African airlines that have suspended flights to China. Ethiopian Airlines, however, tweeted that it will keep operating flights to China while adhering to international standards to ensure the safety of its passengers.
The formal declaration by the WHO of COVID-19 or any other infectious disease as pandemic tells governments, agencies and aid organizations worldwide to shift efforts from containment to mitigation. It has economic, political and societal impacts on a global scale and the WHO takes extreme care when making tis determination.
Quick Facts about Coronavirus:
As of March 13, the official numbers count excess of 120,000 cases in at least 114 countries. Eight countries, including the U.S., have more than 1,000 cases each, with China the most hit.
Precautions for the Public:
UNICEF and WHO emphasize:
- Avoid touching surfaces unnecessarily.
- Wash hands with soap often.
- Sneeze responsibly in tissue and get rid of them immediately.
- Use sanitizers.
- Avoid crowded places.