• August 21, 2021
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Covid-19: Uganda issues new travel measures

Covid-19: Uganda issues new travel measures

Health Minister Dr Jane Ruth Aceng has given hope to Ugandans that she is confident Uganda will start receiving millions of Covid19 vaccine doses starting next month as the country intensifies its fight against the deadly viral respiratory disease.

Addressing the media yesterday afternoon, Minister Aceng noted that 18 million doses of the Sinopharm vaccine for nine million people will begin arriving in phases beginning October 2021 while the ministry will start receiving nine million doses of the Johnson and Johnson vaccine from the African Union in September 2021, among other expected vaccine doses.

According to Aceng, ministry of Health data had shown a consistent reduction in daily confirmed cases from the peak of 1,735 on July 10, 2021 to a new low of 62 on August 15, 2021; a consistent drop in positivity rate from the highest of 22 per cent to an average of 2.8 per cent to-date; a fall in the daily admissions of the severe and critically ill patients from 204 at the peak to less than 50 per day, to-date; as well as a reduction in daily deaths.

“However, the drop in the daily number of deaths remains low due to late presentation to the hospitals.  We have noted that a number of patients undergoing Home Based Care present late to the health facilities thereby leading to poor clinical outcomes,” she further explained. “27% of deaths registered occurred minutes within arrival at the Covid19 Treatment Units. These could have been averted if the patients sought medical care early.”

The Minister further hinted on a Covid19 third wave where scientists have predicted 4,000 lab-confirmed cases per day, over two times higher than the second wave, meaning that 15 per cent of the patients will require admission at the health facility and about 9,331 patients may require HDU/ICU admissions.

Furthermore Aceng noted that travellers from India will now be allowed into the country, provided they present a negative PCR test taken within 72 hours before travel, Health Minister Dr. Ruth Aceng has announced.

Dr. Aceng, who was addressing the press from the UBC Auditorium on Friday, said that the restrictions on flights from India will be eased effective today, 20th August, 2021.

“India has been removed from Category 1 with effect from today, 20th August 2021 and will be treated as category 2 country,” Dr. Aceng announced.

“Travellers from India are required to come with results of a negative PCR test done 72 hours prior to travel and will be subjected to mandatory PCR testing upon arrival irrespective of the vaccination status.”

Earlier this year, Uganda had placed a ban on all flights from India, following a spike of the new Delta variant of Covid-19 in Asian country.

Dr. Aceng said that with effect from 3 September 2021, all travelers (including children) irrespective of vaccination status or country of origin,are required to arrive with a negative PCR test done 72 hrs prior to travel.

“They will be required to undergo mandatory screening and a PCR test at their own cost,” Aceng noted.

Dr. Aceng said that under the new arrangements, any traveller who tests negative for COVID-19 will be allowed to proceed with his/her onward journey while those who test positive will be taken isolation centres.

“Any traveller (national or non-national) who tests positive for COVID-19 will be evacuated by the Ministry of Health to a designated COVID-19 isolation facility,” she said.

Children under 18 years who test positive to Covid-19 according to Dr. Aceng, will be allowed to undergo home quarantine with their parent or guardian.

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