The first batch of Ugandans who had been stranded abroad due to the Coronavirus pandemic has arrived in Uganda.
At around 3:30pm on Tuesday an aircraft from Khartoum, the Sudanese capital landed at Entebbe International Airport and at the opening of its doors, a group of 30 Ugandans disembarked.
These were received by the State Minister for Foreign Affairs, Henry Okello Oryem.
The group later undertook for rapid testing and from where they were taken for the mandatory 14 day quarantine.
“A work plan has been prepared to see the return of an average of 300 Ugandans every fortnight. Arrivals have begun on various carriers. We expect another group this evening that will arrive on KLM,”Oryem said.
Another batch of Ugandans who had been stranded in Netherlands and Belgium is expected to land at Entebbe Airport at 11:30pm.
He explained that the flights are arranged by our embassies abroad but warned that Entebbe airport is not yet open to commercial flights.
“These are special flights but also taking advantage of flights coming to the country to evacuate nationals of other countries. Some of the returnees are also arranging for their own flights and government is clearing.”
Explaining the delay, the minister said the airport had to be prepared to receive the Ugandans but also to adhere to the World Health Organisation and Ministry of Health standard operating procedures.
“Testing had to be done on arrival, quarantine centres had to be prepared and frontline workers had to be well equipped with personal protective equipment,”Oryem said.
“The relevant authorities have been preparing and are now ready to receive the returnees.”
More to return
The State Minister for Foreign Affairs explained that stating this week, more Ugandans stranded abroad are expected to return home including 70 from South Africa(June 25),200 from United Arab Emirates, 180 from Afghanistan, 134 from US and 120 from India.
Government recently said a total of 2300 Ugandan are stranded abroad and will be returned home.