Uganda approves return of citizens stranded abroad over COVID-19

KAMPALA (XINHUA) – The Ugandan Cabinet approved the return of 2,400 nationals stranded abroad amid COVID-19 pandemic, a government official said on Tuesday.

The Cabinet on Monday agreed that Ugandan nationals trapped in 66 countries can return home at their own cost, Minister for Information, Communication Technology and National Guidance Judith Nabakooba told reporters.

“Cabinet in principle agreed that Ugandans who are stranded abroad should be allowed to return home. They are going to return in phases,” said Nabakooba.

The government is making arrangements with the United Nations World Food Program (WFP) to fly the stranded citizens home, said Nabakooba, adding that the returning citizens will have to undergo a 14-day mandatory institutional quarantine.

President Yoweri Museveni last month directed Prime Minister Ruhakana Rugunda to study the possibility of evacuating dozens of citizens stranded abroad amid COVID-19 pandemic
travel restrictions.

To contain the spread of COVID-19, the east African country on March 22 suspended incoming flights, except cargo flights.

Uganda currently has 222 confirmed COVID-19 cases, with 69 recoveries, according to the Ministry of Health.