At least 14 foreign cargo truck drivers (eight Tanzanians and six Kenyans) who recently tested positive for coronavirus in Uganda have returned to their respective home countries according to Ministry of Health.
As of today (April 28), the ministry had registered 79 confirmed cases.
Of the confirmed cases, at least 47 have recovered after treatment. They were discharged after they reportedly tested negative twice.
“The current 18 admitted Covid-19 confirmed cases are all in stable condition at Mulago National Referral Hospital (2), Entebbe Grade B Hospital (9), Arua Regional Referral Hospital (4), Jinja Regional Referral Hospital (1), Masaka Regional Referral Hospital (1) and Kabale Regional Referral Hospital (1). A total of 47 patients have since recovered from Covid-19 and have been discharged from hospital. Out of the confirmed foreign truck drivers, six Kenyans and eight Tanzanians returned to their respective countries,” the director general Health services, Dr Henry Mwebesa said Monday night.
“So far, we have 23 positive truck drivers. Out of these, one Tanzanian truck driver was officially repatriated, 13 truck drivers both Kenyan and Tanzanian exited Uganda on their own. Seven non-Ugandan truck drivers are admitted at our hospitals and undergoing treatment. They are all in stable condition,” Health Minister, Dr Jane Ruth Aceng said on Tuesday.
All the 2,557 sample tested for the virus at the Uganda Virus Research Institute (UVRI) on Monday were negative.
“Of these, 319 samples were from the community while 2,238 samples were from truck drivers at border points of entry,” Dr Mwebesa added in a statement.
Meanwhile Kenyan truck drivers and companies have protested a decision by Uganda government to stop foreign truck drivers at entry points and hand over the trucks to Ugandan drivers.
The proposal will see Ugandan drivers deliver the cargo to its final destination within the country or hand it over to another driver incase the truck is still in transit.
The decision follows a spike in number of foreign truck drivers testing positive, raising fears that while Ugandans have been locked at their homes, foreign truck drivers have become the real threat to efforts in combating the Covid-19 pandemic.
On Friday, Ms Robinah Nabbanja, the State minister of Health in charge of General Duties, said government had asked companies to recruit the Ugandan drivers with-in three weeks to implement the new directives.
However, the decision has been protested by the Kenya transporters association members who say this will escalate the cost of transporting goods and that security of goods and trucks will be compromised.