The deadly coranavirus in China has hit Uganda’s road sector hard, leaving Uganda National Roads Authority (UNRA) stuck with road projects because many experts were left holed up in China, Allen Kagina, the UNRA Executive Director has said.
Kagina (pictured) made the revelation today while briefing the country on UNRA’s half year performance at the Authority’s headquarters in Kampala.
She said that many of road construction projects contracts were awarded to Chinese companies and that by the time of outbreak, some of the critical staff had returned back home to celebrate the Chinese New year and many failed to return following the travel ban slapped on many people that were in the country.
She however allayed fears among Ugandans saying Government is still studying the impact of this outbreak to their projects and are in touch with Chinese embassy.
“It is true we have many projects with Chinese nationals and we are in touch with them through the Chinese Embassy. Some of them were not able to report back because travel is very restricted. By the time we got to know about the corona virus, it was in the middle of celebrations of Chinese New Year,” Kagina said.
World Health Organisation (WHO) recently gave the deadly virus a name known as COVID-19, with latest report indicating that the virus has spread to almost 30 countries and in China, it has infected some 77,000 people and killed more than 2,500.
Despite fears that the disease is drifting to a pandemic, WHO has declined to declare the virus a pandemic saying the coronavirus outbreak has not reached the level of a pandemic but warned countries to step up preparations to deal with such a scenario, as new deaths and infections were reported in the Middle East and Europe.