Uganda imposes ban on passenger flights from India over COVID-19

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Uganda suspended passenger flights from India over COVID-19; Courtesy Photo

Ugandan authorities have suspended all passenger flights between Uganda and India as a control measure against a deadly new COVID-19 variant.

According to Uganda’s Health Ministry, no travelers from India shall be allowed into Uganda regardless of the route of travel starting Saturday night.

“All passengers/ passenger flights originating from India as of 1st May 2021, midnight are suspended until further notice” Health Minister Dr. Jane Ruth Aceng said.

This was a day after the East African nation’s Health Ministry detected the Indian variant (called B.1.617) of the novel coronavirus, igniting fears of a resurgence of cases just when its outbreak has waned.

All travelers who may have been in India or travelled through India in the last 14 days regardless of route taken shall not be allowed into Uganda.”

Further, the directive demands that all travelers arriving from India before suspension date regardless of the route of travel should be in possession of a negative PCR Covid-19 test certificate that is digitally verifiable conducted within 120 hours from the time of sample removal.

The flight ban however exempts cargo deliveries whose crew will not be allowed to disembark.

Operations related to humanitarian aid, medical evacuation and diplomatic flights approved by the Appropriate Authority and Ugandan nationals returning home after medical treatment in India are allowed.

Travelers from USA, United Kingdom, United Arab Emirates, Turkey, South Africa, Ethiopia, South Sudan and Tanzania should also consider postponing non-essential travel to Uganda, according to the minister.

Undergo a mandatory PCR test upon arrival. All those who test positive shall undergo isolation at a government approved isolation center at their own cost.

Those who test negative shall undergo self-quarantine under the supervision of MOH with mandatory retesting between five and 10 days.

The ban comes two days after Kenya’s Health Minister suspended flights to and from India for 14 days. Kenya Airways (KQ) Friday suspended Kenya-India passenger flights in compliance with the government’s directive banning air travel from and to the Asian nation for 14 days beginning May 1.

Individuals in Category 2 and 3 who have received their full COVID-19 vaccination and are asymptomatic will be allowed into the country without the need for testing on arrival.

India is experiencing a second wave of the coronavirus pandemic with an increasing death tally amid a struggling health system. The number of deaths on Friday had surpassed 260,000 a new global record ever since the pandemic broke out early last year.

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