Coronavirus: Uganda shuts borders after the first case, as Tunisia hits 75
In a decision that is likely to affect Kenyan business people, Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni last weekend ordered the closure of all Ugandan border points effective Sunday.
Museveni made this announcement hours before the East African country announced that she had recorded her first coronavirus case.
Health Minister Ruth Aseng confirmed the patient as a 36-year-old male who had travelled to Dubai on March 17 for a business trip and returned four days later via Ethiopian Airlines.
“This prompted the health team at the airport to isolate him for further follow up. Subsequent temperatures taken at intervals of 30 minutes and one hour remained the same. He was evacuated to Entebbe Grade B hospital for further follow up where nasal swab was taken for analysis. The patient is in stable condition but remains under isolation,” explained Aseng.
The head of state explained that the new measures will help curb indiscipline of the travellers who have abused the quarantine at Entebbe. Among the effected entry and exit points is the Entebbe International Airport which will be closed for passenger flights effective midnight on Sunday.
“To prohibit all incoming passengers whether by air, water or road, in order to actualise this, we have decided to prohibit all passenger planes coming from outside Uganda from landing at any of the airports of Uganda. Only the cargo planes will be allowed to fly into and outside of Uganda. Also to be allowed are planes on account of emergency or UN planes doing relief work,” ordered Museveni.
He added: “No person, Ugandan or otherwise, will be allowed to enter Uganda by water or land except for drivers and accompanying crews not exceeding three for cargo transport vehicles such as trailers, lorries and other vehicles.”
This move will likely affect thousands of Kenyans who regularly travel to Uganda, especially to the capital Kampala, for business and pleasure.
In a related development, the number of confirmed cases of coronavirus infection has risen to 75 in Tunisia. This was announced last Sunday by the Director of the National Observatory of New and Emerging Diseases, Nissaf Ben Alaya,. He specified that 2 new deaths had been reported bringing the number to 3 deaths.
Out of 132 tests, 15 new cases tested positive on March 21, they are 31 local cases and 54 imported cases, she said.
The cases of infection are spread over 15 governorates as follows: 15 cases in Ariana, 2 cases in Kairouan, 1 case in Gafsa, 3 cases in Mahdia, 22 cases in Tunis, 2 cases in Bizerte, 5 cases in Tataouine, 5 cases in Sousse, 5 cases in Monastir, 5 cases in Ben Arous, 3 cases in Medenine, 4 cases in Sfax, 1 case in Kebili, 1 case in Gabes and 1 case in Nabeul.
Seven (7) infected persons have been hospitalised at the Abderrahmen Mami Hospital in Ariana and 3 others at the Farhat Hached Hospital in Sousse, Ben Alaya indicated, specifying that only one (1) case has been cured and that 33 of the contaminated cases are women.
Until March 21, some 12,395 people have been placed in self-quarantine, including 4,753 who have completed the period and over 7,642 are still uner this health measure, said the same source.
Two new deaths from coronavirus contraction had been confirmed untill March 21, Nissaf Ben Alaya underlined, specifying that the second case had been reported in Sfax of a man in his seventies who died on March 21 and the third death had been registered in Ariana of a 60-year-old man who died on March 22.
The first death case was recorded in Sousse of a 72-year-old woman who had arrived from Turkey and died on March 18.