Sat, 11 Jul 2020

KAMPALA, June 3 (Xinhua) -- Uganda plans to evacuate over 2,400 nationals stranded in 66 countries abroad amid the COVID-19 pandemic, Foreign Affairs Minister Sam Kutesa said here on Tuesday.

The Ugandan government is in consultations with the United Nations (UN), airline companies and countries involved, to make the final evacuation plans, he said.

Airport and border closures amid the pandemic, which have been in effect since March 22, have caused troubles for Ugandans to return home.

Kutesa said that each returning citizen will be tested for the virus and only those who are negative will be allowed to return home. On arrival, they will undergo a 14-day mandatory quarantined and will be tested before being released to the communities.

The government has talked to airlines such as Ethiopian Airlines, since the company can arrange to pick up Ugandans from different locations and gather them to a more central place, from where special flights can be arranged to bring them back home, said Kutesa.

He added that discussions have also been held with the UN, asking the agency to consider placing stranded Ugandans on its humanitarian flights across Africa.

He noted that the United Arab Emirates has agreed to arrange at least three flights to bring back home the migrant workers stranded in the Arab country.

"Fortunately, many of these migrant workers already have air tickets which were provided by their former employers," he said.

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