As the world grapples with the spread of coronavirus, Uganda will require travellers from worst hit countries to stay in quarantine for two weeks at their cost.
Health minister Jane Aceng on Sunday said the order affects both foreigners and citizens.
The most affected countries are China, Spain, France, Italy, Iran, Germany and South Korea.
Uganda’s order comes in the wake of Saudi Arabia imposing a temporary lockdown on its eastern Qatif province, which has population of more than 600,000, to prevent spread of coronavirus.
At the same time, some 70 people were on Sunday trapped under a collapsed five-storey coronavirus quarantine facility in China, the State Media reported.
Four people died after the hotel collapsed in Quanzhou. By dawn on Sunday, 47 individuals had been rescued, according to state media outlet People’s Daily.
Uganda’s Aceng further added that the move to quarantine travellers will shield Uganda from covid-19 spread.
A local daily reported the minister as having said “Uganda remains at high risk of importation of coronavirus from the affected countries. This is mainly due to travel, trade and social linkages with affected countries as Uganda maintains an open border policy.”
The World Health Organisation has called the spread of the coronavirus ‘deeply concerning’.
Todate, some 3,483 have died and 101,828 people infected with coronavirus.
The symptoms include a cough, flu and respiratory complications.
After 14 days without exhibiting further symptoms of coronavirus, one is declared free of it.
Uganda, like Kenya, has suspended international conferences to stop covid-19 spread.
The Ugandan government will check mass gatherings including burials and weddings, but the Health minister did not expound how that would be undertaken.
On March 6, the Health ministry led by CS Mutahi Kagwe resorted to sending coronavirus information via SMS.
It is still unclear how often text messages will be sent out in future and whether subscribers other than Safaricom will receive the SMS.
The national government has banned all conferences of international nature with more than 15 people for 30 days as a precautionary measure against Coronavirus.
The move is part of the government’s plan to improve preparedness through heightened surveillance.
The Health ministry has also temporarily lifted the ban on Italian flights to Kenya to evacuate Italian Citizens from Kenya.
Kenya has investigated 23 alerts involving 31 suspected cases that have all tested negative for Covid-19.
Government spokesman Cyrus Oguna on Sunday said a patient who had been suspected to be infected by the coronavirus and died tested negative for the virus.
The unidentified patient died in an isolation ward at MP Shah Hospital.
Oguna said the government is further nvestigating how the patient’s details were leaked to the public.
“The Ministry of Health will continue to respond to any alerts as they are reported through the various established channels.”
CS Kagwe said so far a National Contingency Plan to guide response activities has been established in all counties.
He also announced that there will be mandatory screening at all entry points to ensure the country is free from coronavirus.