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MPs Question Hiring Of Private Labs To Test Travelers At The Airport

MPs Question Hiring Of Private Labs To Test Travelers At The Airport

MPs on the parliamentary Covid-19 taskforce have faulted the Ministry of Health for hiring private labs to test passengers arriving at Entebbe Airport.

On Saturday, MPs visited the airport and met officials from the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA). In May, health officials set up a Covid-19 testing centre at Peniel Beach hotel located about a kilometre away from the airport.

Travellers from ten countries including India, Kenya, and the USA among others use this testing centre. The ministry added that three private laboratories are the ones carrying out the tests.

The labs, in particular, are Safari Laboratory, Test and Fly, and Case Hospital.

The chairperson of the committee, Dr Michael Bukenya says the MoH and non-private laboratories should do the testing. He gave a reason that in this way, they are able to protect the credibility of port health systems.

Bukenya said they discovered that the same labs are charging Shs 150,000 at Malaba border point. But they charge in excess of Shs 300,000 at Entebbe for the same tests.

He further said the Ministry should explain how and why it hired private labs to test travellers at the airport. He said an investigation into how the labs were awarded contracts needs to be commenced immediately.

‘’We have established that there are weaknesses because people who have been found positive are sent on home-based care.

They are symptomless and then there is no one who monitors them from home. Those are all challenges,’’ Bukenya said.

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