Uganda Airlines plane at Entebbe International Airport

The State Minister of Health for General Duties Robinah Nabbanja has revealed that travellers arriving through the Entebbe International Airport will not be subjected to institutional quarantine despite the surging cases of Covid-19.

As of 28th September 2020, there have been 33,034,598 confirmed cases of COVID-19, including 996,342 deaths, reported to WHO. Uganda has so far 7530 confirmed cases of COVID-19 including 73 deaths.

According to approved shift in response interventions and recommendations made for Phase IV of the COVID-19 pandemic as recommended by both the Ministry of Health and the National Task Force, all arriving travellers would be required to be tested on arrival.

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“The minister said all travelers will be given guidance on the recommended procedures for self-quarantine where needed and for infection prevention,” Nabbanja said adding that travellers arriving at the airport without a test result, will be tested upon arrival and the individual will be asked to quarantine at their cost until the result is returned.

She said testing for any of the recent travellers would be symptom-based, in the event that they develop symptoms consistent with COVID-19.

“Contacts will be advised to self-quarantine for 14 days and tested if symptomatic. Contacts who are in the high-risk category will be prioritized for testing to ensure early diagnosis and management,” she said.

In the Phase IV of the COVID-19 pandemic, Self-isolation and self-management, under well-defined SOPs and clear referral pathways will be instituted for the asymptomatic non-high-risk individuals and health facility-based isolation and care will be preserved for the moderately, severely and critically ill case-patients.

Consideration will be made for auxiliary non-health-facility-based isolation and management of mild cases especially among the high-risk categories and adjustments will be made to the duration of hospitalization/ institutional care, based on time and symptom-based discharge criteria spelt out in case management SOPs.

She urged caretakers of the vulnerable groups to observe preventive measures at all times.