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OMICRON: Uganda Opts For Mandatory Border Testing

OMICRON: Uganda Opts For Mandatory Border Testing

Uganda is set to begin mandatory Covid testing for all people arriving in the country via land border points to check the rise in infections. The announcement came from the Ministry of Health on Friday.

Dr. Henry G Mwebesa, the country’s Director-General for Health Services said they were targeting Malaba and Busia borders with Kenya.

Also, the Elegu border point with South Sudan as well as Mutukula and Mpondwe.

The decision, he said in a statement, follows the detection of more variants of Omicron imported from neighboring countries. They have detected these among travelers who arrived via Entebbe International Airport.

‘’The Ministry (of Health) is also intensifying mandatory testing, and follow-up of cases for all incoming travelers at the five major points of entry,’’ Dr. Mwebesa said.

He also said they will implement testing with the help of the private sector. This already exists at the points of entry. They will do this as the ministry builds adequate capacity to take over just as it did at Entebbe International Airport.

The change of policy came as a result of the rise in the number of people testing positive from neighboring countries. Previously, arrivals via land border were only required to show a valid negative PCR certificate obtained from accredited labs in their countries.

Uganda which has been under lockdown since July has registered 255 new Covid cases. 25 of these are Omicron variant cases.

This raised the positivity rate to 3.7% and the total number of cases detected since the beginning to 128,764.

Out of those, 97,971 have recovered, according to the data from the Ugandan Ministry of Health.

Authorities have detected the Omicron cases among people arriving at Entebbe from Kenya, South Africa, and Nigeria. He said this means that the transmission in other countries is probably high.

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