Govt to reopen airport despite rising Covid-19 deaths

Govt to reopen airport despite rising Covid-19 deaths

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ENTEBBE – The government is considering reopening Entebbe International Airport to commercial and other flights even as the country continues to battle rising Covid-19 community infections.

The Covid-19 taskforce is currently discussing a number of draft standard operating procedures developed by the Uganda Civil Aviation Authority (UCAA) that will be followed by travellers.

Some of the measures require all travellers to arrive early, wear face coverings at all times, maintain social distancing, handwashing or use of sanitisers and must go through a protracted slow check-in process. Others include installation of automated sanitiser at strategic points, marks at the airport to ensure social distancing, acquire temperature guns, three ultra-modern scans, which detect temperature at a 30-metre distance and these will be put in the waiting lounge and rooms of Very Important Persons (VIPs).

Mr Vianney Luggya, the UCAA spokesperson, said they are awaiting the approval of the government.

“We have developed SoPs which we have shared with the Ministry of Health. We are, therefore, at the final stages of engagement with the key stakeholders and once the SoPs are approved, we shall resume operations,” Mr Luggya said.

The Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Health, Dr Diana Atwine, said the measures are being studied by a team of scientists who are advising the government on Covid-19.

The move comes Rwanda and Kenya opened their airspaces.

Mr Godfrey Katongole, the chairperson of Kampala Arcades Traders Association, had earlier urged the government to consider reopening of the airport because the country was losing on trade opportunities.

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