Govt to test incoming travellers for Covid-19

The testing fee for the incoming passengers is $30 (about Shs107,000).  

  • Dr Atek Kagirita, the deputy incident commander for Covid-19 and operations’ officer in-charge of Covid-19 testing at the airport, said they have oriented staff to equip them with airport operations, safety and security implications to safeguard them from the pandemic.

More than 200 staff from all agencies at Entebbe International Airport, who will be involved in testing of incoming travellers, have undergone orientation.

This follows the set up of a testing centre at the new departure lounge, which President Museveni is expected to inspect today, according to airport officials.

The testing fee for the incoming passengers is $30 (about Shs107,000).  
Dr Atek Kagirita, the deputy incident commander for Covid-19 and operations’ officer in-charge of Covid-19 testing at the airport, said they have oriented staff to equip them with airport operations, safety and security implications to safeguard them from the pandemic.

Mr Kenneth Otim, the principal public affairs officer, said Uganda Civil Aviation Authority (UCAA) has been working together with other partners such as the Ministry of Health, Uganda People’s Defence Forces (UPDF) engineering brigade, National Planning Authority, Uganda Tourism Board, Ministry of Trade, Security and other agencies to ensure safety measures are observed. 

He said the UPDF engineering brigade set up the testing facility within one month.

Equipment
Mr. Otim added that the facility has testing equipment, data centre and Genprex machines, which can test between 25 and 50 samples.

“We are looking at a bigger number and National Information Technology Authority (NITA-U) has done a great work of giving us Internet connection to ensure that the system at the swabbing areas and the systems at the laboratory communicate, for verification of passenger records and also to know how much money has been paid for testing,” he added.

Passengers will go through the port health processes and later the swabbing area.

“We have got swab samples for tourists, VIPs and for ordinary passengers. When the passenger is swabbed, he is going to be directed through the exit of the terminal to where UCAA has arranged a holding place for all the passengers that would have taken their swabs. We expect the turnaround time for these swabbing until the time you get your PCR test results to be two and half hours,”  Mr Otim said.

He  added that passengers found to be negative will be allowed to go to their final destination while those  found positive, the Ministry of Health will deploy vehicles to transport them to Namboole stadium where they will be quarantined.

“We are using a wet run on the staff who are going to be operating these facilities and we will see whether it can take them two and half hours for results to be released to them.”

Adopted from: The Daily Monitor October 22, 2021

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