The Minister of Health, Dr. Jane Ruth Aceng has advised that Ugandans students trapped in Wuhan City in China over the Corona Virus outbreak remain in the country since Uganda has got no capacity to deal with the virus.
Aceng told legislators at Parliament on Thursday that the demand to have the students repatriated would be a blind move at the moment since the country hasn’t built capacity to handle the virus that has so far claimed over 1000 lives.
“Uganda has got no capacity to handle a corona virus outbreak in terms of specialized isolation facilities with specialized equipment.This virus is new and spreads very fast, in addition the country is overstretched with outbreaks,” Aceng observed.
She added that, “The Ebola threat from DRC is still ongoing since August 2018 and there is Yellow Fever in Buliisa, Moyo and Maracha. The health workforce is also very thin on the ground.”
Aceng said that it is therefore in the wisdom of Government for the mean time to keep the 105 university students in Wuhan since all arrangements have been made by Chinese government to provide all the necessities to the students.
“From the public health point of view, it’s safer to keep persons in Wuhan city there. The city is under lock down, meaning travelling to and from the city is prohibited,” Aceng said.
“Movements from the homes where people are isolated to the airport is no guarantee that one may not get infected or even acquire infection from one another once on the plane during transportation. Therefore decisions to repatriate should take consideration of all this,” Aceng warned.
The Minister added that government has got reassurance that the Chinese Government will do all it takes to ensure that the Ugandan students are well taken care of.
“The students in the University halls of residence are being provided for food by the universities while those outside the universities have to procure their own food. The Ministry of Foreign affairs is aware about the challenges the students are facing as regards their welfare. As such it is in the process of wiring $61,800 to support the students in the interim as more evaluation of the situation takes place,” Aceng said.