Uganda repatriates 14 virus-positive cross-border cargo truck drivers

KAMPALA (XINHUA) – Uganda repatriated 14 Tanzanian and Kenyan cross-border cargo truck drivers who tested positive for the novel coronavirus in the country, a top Health Ministry official said.

Director General Health Services Henry Mwebesa said in a statement eight Tanzanian and six Kenyan truck drivers have returned to their respective countries for treatment.

Uganda reported a total of 79 confirmed cases of the COVID-19 pandemic. Of these, at least 47 patients have been discharged from the hospital after recovery, according to the Health Ministry.

Uganda announced last Thursday it agreed on measures tackling the spread of the coronavirus pandemic through cross-border cargo movements. One of the measures includes relay driving, by which a driver from a neighbouring country hands over his truck to another driver at the border after fumigating the vehicle. Drivers will also be requested to park in designated areas to limit their interaction with the public.

Observers said cross-border cargo checkpoints have become Uganda’s new battlefront in its fight against COVID-19. The East African country closed its borders to traffic except for cargo shipments.