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Coronavirus: Uganda cancels all international conferences, issues travel ban

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THE OBSERVER 07 MAR 2020

Uganda has cancelled all international conferences that were scheduled to take place in the country over the coronavirus outbreak.

Among the cancelled is the G77 summit that was scheduled in Uganda from April 16-19, 2020 at Speke Resort Munyonyo, attracting participants from 136 member states.

Addressing journalists today at the ministry of Health headquarters in Kampala, minister of Health Jane Ruth Aceng, said there is no confirmed case of coronavirus in Uganda, but the government was taking precautionary measures to ensure that the deadly virus doesn’t get into the country. The virus has symptoms similar to common cold and mild flu (coughing, fever and breathing difficulties). The virus jumps from human to human through the air via secretion of an infected individual. 

The virus whose outbreak has now spread to all continents of the world has not caused a single death yet in Africa with Morocco, Egypt, Tunisia, Cameroon, South Africa, Nigeria all reporting no more than two cases each.

However, outside China, the epicentre of the outbreak where more than 80,565 cases and 3,015 deaths have been recorded, the virus continues to rake up numbers of infections and deaths.

Italy (3858 cases, 148 deaths), South Korea (6,088 cases, 42 deaths), Japan (1,057 cases, 12 deaths), Germany (514 cases, 0 deaths), France (377 cases, 6 deaths), Iran (3,513 cases, 107 deaths), Spain (259 cases, 3 deaths).

Aceng says travel of Ugandans to these countries will be restricted henceforth and the travellers returning from these countries have been advised to postpone all nonessential travel to Uganda.

Any travellers from those countries, Aceng said, shall be subjected to a 14-day self-quarantine whether they possess symptoms and signs of coronavirus or not.

Also, travellers from UK, Switzerland, Norway, Netherlands, Sweden, Belgium, India and USA, Aceng said will be closely monitored and the evolution of the outbreak in these countries and any travel restrictions announced.

Uganda joins DR Congo, Nigeria, Saudi Arabia, Australia, Ethiopia, Japan, South Korea, Russia, Philippines, Indonesia, Papua New Guinea as countries have issued travel restriction to their citizens to countries ravaged by the coronavirus outbreak. Others like Turkey, Pakistan, Vietnam, South Korea and Russia have completely closed their borders. 

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