A total of 131 Ugandan nationals and legal residents who had been stranded in India have safely returned home.
The group that had been stranded in the Indian cities of New Delhi, Mumbai, Gujarat, Hyderabad, Bangalore, Pune, Odisa and Kerala landed at Entebbe Airport on Saturday afternoon.
“This flight departed from Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj International Airport this afternoon and landed at Entebbe International Airport at this evening aboard Air Tanzania. More details of other repatriation flights will be communicated in due course,” the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a statement.
The number of Ugandans who have so far returned home has reached 700 after others from South Africa, Eswatini, Namibia, Lesotho, Botswana , Zimbabwe, UAE, UK, Netherlands, Belgium, Sudan and Turkey.
However, government on Friday announced that it had suspended the repatriation of Ugandans stranded abroad for a period of two weeks due to lack accommodation facilities for them.
“Accordingly, the relevant Ministries, Departments and Agencies that are caretaking the returnees have requested that we pause for a break in the arrivals for a period of approximately two weeks starting July 4,2020 so as to enable them efficiently manage the numbers that already in mandatory quarantine,” the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Permanent Secretary, Amb. Patrick Mugoya’s communication to heads of Uganda’s missions abroad dated July 3, 2020 read in part.
“In this regard, you are advised to temporarily halt all repatriation flights that had been scheduled after July,4, 2020 and to wait for further guidance on when to resume.”
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs Permanent Secretary said the move was aimed at decongesting quarantine facilities that are currently filled to capacity.
As a measure to control the spread of Coronavirus, all returnees are supposed to be quarantined for 14 days on arrival at Entebbe before being allowed back home.
Government said at least 2300 Ugandans stranded abroad due to the Coronavirus pandemic and its effects are expected to be returned home.