At least 100 passengers travelling from China have been quarantined in Uganda on suspicion that they could have come in contact with the coronavirus.
Government also released Shs 25 billion to contain the epidemic incase of an outbreak in the country.
The Minister of Health Dr Ruth Aceng while addressing journalists at the Uganda Media Centre on Wednesday made the revelation.
The minister said that 43 of the 100 that were quarantined are Chinese nationals while the rest are Ugandans including 3 students who have been studying in China.
“They were quarantined in different places because some people may already be incubating, others may be free and that is why it is important that we quarantine you where you will have access to food and all necessities for two weeks,” Aceng said.
The Coronavirus that started in the Wuhan province of China continues to spread across the globe with a total of 24,600 cases confirmed in 25 countries including China as of February 4, 2020. 494 deaths were also confirmed in China at the same time with only two deaths confirmed outside China in Hong Kong and Philippines.
At the time of compiling this report, Uganda has no confirmed or suspected cases of the virus.
The World Health Organization declared the virus as a global health emergency.
Earlier in the week, the Ministry of Finance declared that there were no funds to evacuate the 71 Ugandan students who are stuck in the virus stricken Wuhan and declared the process ‘expensive.’
According to minister of health however, Ministry of Finance has no choice but to provide funding of over 25 billion in order to protect the country against the virus following a directive.
“Ministry of finance said that they currently don’t have funds but they have been directed to provide the funds and so funds will be provided they don’t have a choice and this afternoon we had a meeting were they committed to provide the funding,” Aceng said.
According to the minister, the 25 billion will help to intensify vigilance to quickly identify any suspected cases in order to avoid entry and spreading of the deadly virus into the country.
Health workers at all health facilities across the country and points of entry have been guided on how to identify, isolate and care for the suspected persons early.
Ugandan students in China especially the 71 in the coronavirus epicenter of Wuhan remain isolated despite their cries to the government to evacuate them.
Prime Minister Ruhakana Rugunda earlier in the week said that these are much safer in China and advised them to follow guidelines put in place by the Chinese authorities.