Trade Minister to visit border points to assess Covid-19 situation

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The Minister of Trade, Industry and Cooperatives, Amelia Kyambadde will this weekend visit the Uganda-Kenya Busia and Malaba borders as well as the Elegu border with South Sudan.

She will travel to the borders to assess the situation of truck drivers awaiting to be tested of the coronavirus (COVID-19).

Speaking at her ministry headquarters at Framers’ House in Kampala, the Minister said she had received reports of the unprecedented queues of trucks at the Ugandan borders.

Uganda’s members in the East African Legislative Assembly (EALA) who have been on a fact finding mission at the different border entries said in some places like Busia, the queue goes for as long as 30 kilometers into Kenya.

George Odongo, the chairperson of Uganda’s chapter said it’s important to urgently handle the situation at the border before it spirals out of control.

Kyambadde said before they come up with a lasting solution, they want to first clearly understand the magnitude of the problem.

Recently Uganda changed the policy on long distance truck drivers who ply the region. Previously, they would be tested and then allowed to continue with their journey and then informed of their results and those who tested positive were intercepted and taken into custody.

However, now for anyone to be allowed to enter Uganda’s borders, he must have tested negative of the virus. There has been a sharp increase in coronavirus cases in Uganda but most of them being by truck drivers. Now the mandatory testing and waiting for results has resulted into a commotion at the border leading to a number of complaints.

Kenya, Tanzania and South Sudan have proven to be hotspots of the Coronavirus in the region.

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