This is the biggest group to arrive from a same location ever since the repatriation flights commenced last week due to the Covid19 lock down. The latest group brings to 674, the number of returnees to the country.
Dr Andrew Obuku left Cleveland, Ohio on March 21. At 7 a.m. the next day, he was in Addis Ababa, waiting for a connecting flight which was due at 10 a.m. However, Ethiopian Airlines rescheduled the flight to 23; 45 p.m. After more than 12 hours of waiting, the same flight was cancelled.
Dr. Richard Mugahi, the National Coordinator for Quarantine Centers in the Health Ministry, says the five returnees including a child were exempted from institutional quarantine because of terminal illness.
Entebbe Municipality Town Clerk Magumba says the exercise will also help combat the spread of COVID-19 since taxi operators will not physically visit the municipal offices for registration as it has been since mid-June.
The hospital is currently managing only one patient, a male Ugandan who was admitted over the weekend. The patient was a case picked from the community in Masaka district.
The patient was admitted two days after the hospital discharged on Thursday the last group of two truck drivers who had the virus. The drivers had been at the hospital since Mid-June.
Hannington Kasirye, a Ugandan and a community leader in Pretoria told Uganda Radio Network that $913 US Dollars, up from the normal average rate of $ 471 US Dollars for a one-way ticket from Johanesbug to Entebbe, is fair.
He says it is the lowest cost one can charter a flight under the circumstances, noting that certain airlines had made quotations in the range of $1,200 to 1,800 US Dollars, about shillings 4.5million to 6.7 million per passenger.
Upon easing the restrictions, MV Nathalie made its first trip on Friday setting off 4 pm from Entebbe to Kalangala with 17 passengers. Travellers were directed to arrive at least two hours before departure to allow enough time for screening and other anti-COVID-19 measures.
UWEC Managing Director James Musinguzi says that the ban on impromptu visits to the centre will enable better planning, enforcing social distancing within the centre, and limit the number of visitors at a given time. Visitors will also not be allowed to interact with wildlife, especially animals and will only be allowed on condition that they make cashless payments.
In excitement, they waved to the receiving party while others raised their hands in the sky when they finally disembarked from the plane. Each of the returnees also wore face masks as they checked out of the terminal, and proceeded to the various quarantine centres.
Now, Isaac Mukisa, the spokesperson of the Municipal Council, says ever since June 12th when registration commenced in Entebbe, 140 operators have been cleared to operate in Entebbe.
“The council expects to register about 1,000 taxis but few operators have turned up in the last two weeks,” Mukisa says.
Up to 174,000 people face eviction from the shores, mainly around the areas of Bugonga, Kigungu, and Lugonjo-Nakiwogo, which have been flooded as the lake reclaims its shoreline that was encroached on for several years.
The facility had initially earmarked a team of 20 core staff who had previously worked in management of infectious diseases such as Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome and Ebola, for its COVID-19 response and management. However, six of them were away on study leave, while eight said they were either vulnerable or unwilling to work.
This is the biggest number of recovered patients being discharged the same day from one facility ever since Uganda recorded its first case on March 21. The 47 truck drivers were admitted at Entebbe Hospital on the same day and have been discharged after 17 days in the hospital.