Uganda approves return of citizens stranded abroad over COVID-19

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Passengers arriving on international flights leave the international arrivals lobby after they have been screened and cleared for any symptoms of the novel coronavirus at Entebbe Airport, Uganda, on March 3, 2020./Sumy Sadurni/AFP/Getty Images
Passengers arriving on international flights leave the international arrivals lobby after they have been screened and cleared for any symptoms of the novel coronavirus at Entebbe Airport, Uganda, on March 3, 2020. © 2020 Sumy Sadurni/AFP via Getty Images

The Ugandan cabinet has approved the return of 2,400 nationals stranded abroad amid COVID-19 pandemic, a government official said here Tuesday.

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,” Nabakooba told Xinhua.

A statement from The United World Food Programme says that the Global Flight Service run by WFP is only committed to flying humanitarians with mission assignments in Uganda back into the country.

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.

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