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.
Ugandans and legal residents returned from the United Arab Emirates-UAE on
Friday aboard Emirates Airlines. The Emirates plane touched down at
Entebbe International Airport around 5pm.
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.
The returnees include business people, students,
external laborer and expatriates who got stranded in various cities in UAE such
as Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Sharjah and Ras Alkhaima among others following the closure
of Uganda’s borders. Some of the expatriates lost their jobs due to the coronavirus
Shortly after touching down, the passengers
started disembarking one by one to ensure physical distancing. All passengers
wore face masks. Most of the passengers disembarked quietly from the plane
while some passengers raised their hands in excitement.
The returnees made a long queue from the entrance of the
arrival section to where the plane had parked. Three airport officials kept
monitoring the queue to ensure the returnees observe social distancing. Two
hygienists stood at the entrance of the arrival section to disinfect the
After disinfection, each returnee was received by officials
from Health and Foreign Affairs Ministries who stood a few meters from the
entrance of the arrival section. The passengers proceeded to the arrival section where they
were screened and handed over their travel documents to immigration officers.
Health Ministry has deployed 8 health workers to screen the returnees. Some of the health workers and immigration officers say they
get overwhelmed whenever there are over 100 people. Before boarding the flight at Dubai
International Airport, the group was flagged off by Uganda's Ambassador to UAE,
Zaake Kibedi Wanume and other Mission Staff.
Wanume told the media recently that the embassy is arranging
other flights since it registered 1, 500 Ugandan stranded in UAE who want
to return home. He explained that those who returned on Friday are mainly those
who registered first or are special cases such as are expectant mothers and the
terminally ill. However, 21 returnees didn’t board the flight.
Ambassador Alfred Naam, the Spokesperson of the
Foreign Affairs Ministry explains that some people could have failed to return
after failing to secure or top up payment for their air tickets.
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Another 150 Ugandans and legal residents are
expected to arrive in the country from India today. This will bring the total
number of returnees to 824. Flights will resume after two weeks,
according to the latest directive from the Foreign Affairs Ministry to bring in