Entry of Covid-19 positive refugee remains a mystery

The new case of a foreigner testing positive to Covid-19 comes barely a month after government closed the airport and all borders to stop incoming and outgoing travellers and two weeks after the ban on entry of new refugees into the country.
Mr Musa Ecweru, the Minister of State for Disaster Preparedness, on March 25 while addressing journalists in Kampala, said government had suspended receiving of new arrivals with immediate effect for 30 days.
Dr Diana Atwine, the permanent secretary at the Ministry of Health, told Daily Monitor yesterday in a telephone interview that she did not have information about the date the Burundian refugee entered the country.
However, she said the refugee had, along with friends, passed through the porous border points.

“He is a refugee in Nakivale who passed through a porous border with colleagues. On arrival, the community reported them and they were quarantined,” Dr Atwine said.
Nakivale Refugee Settlement is in Isingiro District in Southwest Uganda. The settlement hosts refugees from neighbouring countries; Democratic Republic of Congo, Burundi and Rwanda, among others.
Dr Atwine said the refugee was quarantined along with his friends but she did not specify their number and the date when they were quarantined.
However, when asked about when and how the Burundian entered Uganda after the ban on new refugees, police spokesperson Mr Fred Enanga said the refugee did not just sneak into the country.

“Issues of victims like that, you do not need to discuss. He is not just somebody who just sneaked into the country but the fact remains that he is a refugee,” Mr Enanga told this newspaper by telephone.
On March 23, Mr Enanga said security at all border points had been reinforced with additional deployment to ensure strict adherence to the border lockdown.
On April 11, Security minister Gen Elly Tumwine flagged off over 190 motorcycles to be used by District Internal Security Officers (DISO) on various border points. He said the move was aimed at strengthening security on Uganda’s border points to prevent the spread of Covid-19.


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