Uganda approves return of citizens stranded abroad over COVID-19

KAMPALA, May 27, (Xinhua/GNA) – The Ugandan cabinet has approved the return of 2,400 nationals stranded abroad amid COVID-19 pandemic, a government official, has said.

The cabinet on Monday agreed that Ugandan nationals trapped in 66 countries can return home at their own cost, Judith Nabakooba, minister for information, communication technology and national guidance, 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 was making arrangements with the UN World Food Program (WFP) to fly the stranded citizens’ home, said Nabakooba, adding that all 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 all incoming flights, except cargo flights. Uganda currently has 222 confirmed COVID-19 cases, with 69 recoveries, according to the Ministry of Health.