Following a video clip circulating on social media about a presumed delay, News channels went ahead to report items of inconvenience and delays at Entebbe airport without verification of the actual events.
Civil Aviation Authority and Ministry of Health have said that no tourist is being held at the Airport upon arrival just to wait for the Covid 19 test result, as being portrayed and circulated in a video clip by a section of bad media.
According to sources from Ministry of health and Civil Aviation Authority, the video clip being circulated and the international bad media is an intended malicious move to misrepresent Uganda.
Government through the Ministry of Health has maintained special and fast mandatory COVID-19 test consideration to tourists and other passengers entering Uganda through Entebbe International Airport.
Records obtained from both the Health Ministry and Civil Aviation Authority indicate that every tourist is accorded a mandatory special arrangement upon arrival at the airport to ensure speedy testing processes.
”Tourists have a special arrangement. Once at the airport, a swab is taken by the MOH team and information of the person is captured by the staff Uganda Tourism board,” the MOH source said.
The source further notes that, “the tourist is allowed to proceed to their hotel and if the result is negative the tourist receives this information by a phone call. If it is positive, the Uganda tourism board staff will go to the hotel, pick the tourist and take him/her to a designated hotel for isolation or treatment”
According to a source at the Civil Aviation Authority, there was a slight delay recorded during only the first day of the mandatory testing due to unforeseen challenges stemming from the introduction of mandatory testing.
According to the Ministry of Health records that day, out of the 678 people tested that day, 95% received their results in the communicated two and a half hours and some 3. 5% of those tested had some delays
The source said whereas travelers are required to fill health information online before arrival at the airport, many never did not do this and instead filled their health information upon arrival hence creating delays in receiving their results.
A traveler should pay 30USDs for the test online, but the cash option exists where they use the post bank machines in the lounge. According to Civil Aviation (CAA) officers interviewed, this created some delays in people accessing their results.
The CAA officers said that it is not true that passengers waited all night for results describing the utterances as sabotage and deliberate exaggeration by some people who wish to paint Uganda in a bad way.
The mandatory Covid-19 testing for all travelers entering the country through Entebbe International Airport started few days ago and its aimed at curbing further importation of deadly variants of the coronavirus and preventing the spread of the disease as the country faces an imminent threat of a third wave of the pandemic, according to the Health ministry.