The United States Embassy in Uganda has issued a health alert to its Nationals in Uganda, with plans to evacuate its citizens as Uganda’s cases of patients that tested positive for COVID-19 increasing to 30.
“7 new cases of COVID-19 confirmed in Uganda today, Saturday 28 March 2020. This brings the total to 30 confirmed cases in the country. Out of 225 samples run today, 218 samples have tested negative for COVID-19,” Ministry of Health said Saturday night.
In its latest communiqué, the US Embassy gave guidelines to its Nationals on how to Book Commercial Flight for Next Week, adding that the Embassy is liaising with the Ugandan government to allow a plane to land at and depart from Entebbe International Airport, sometime within the next week.
The health alert noted, “This will not be a U.S. government operated or funded flight. Availability and cancellations will be controlled by the airline. The flight will be via an international routing to either JFK or IAD, with the option for onward domestic flights according to availability. The airline estimates the cost will be approximately $2500 per ticket for an itinerary terminating at IAD. The price may vary, depending on final destination.”
It should be recalled that as part of the Measures to contain the spread of Coronovirus in Uganda, President Yoweri Museveni announced the closure of Uganda’s airspace to all passengers, except cargo until further notice.
The directive appears to be hampering US Embassy’s evacuation of its Nationals, a move that has left them embroiled in negotiations with Ugandan officials to allow Civil Aviation Authority open this flight to the public on their website once it has been confirmed.
“However, if you want to book prior to publication of the flight, please send the below information via email and indicate that we can release your information to the airline. Please title your email: Booking Consent. You will then receive instructions via email on how to pay for your booking to finalize the reservation,” the Embassy wrote, adding: “If you have already sent ALL the information below and you want to book the flight, please send via email your permission (statement below) to share your information with the airline solely for the purpose of booking your flight, as well as your final destination in the United States.”
Americans interested in leaving Uganda have up to 8:00am Monday March 30 2020 to express their interest.
The Nationals alternatively have to wait until the flight is made available publicly, but they were warned that the last minute decision would be risky as there would be no guarantee that they would secure a seat.
“Again, the flight will be subject to airline cancellations. If the airline does not register sufficient interest from the general public, there is a chance that the flight will be canceled,” read in part the statement.
As opposed to Uganda that has registered 30 cases, US has 104,256 confirmed cases, 1,704 deaths with 2,525 recoveries. New York City has been hit the hardest number of cases at 46,262 and 606 deaths.