A total of 10 Ugandan students are among the 265 travellers in isolation after they were supported to return home by their parents over Coronavirus, according to Minister of Health, Dr Jane Ruth Aceng.
So far, a total of 265 travellers have been isolated in different parts of the country. The move is a preventive measure against the spread of the virus that has ravaged China and been confirmed in other countries.
"Of these 166 are Chinese nationals while 99 are Ugandan citizens. Of the Ugandan citizens, 10 are students who were supported to return home by their parents," Dr Aceng said.
Uganda also has about 105 students in Wuhan City Universities where the deadly virus is reported to have originated.
“A total of 65 are known government sponsored students while 40 are on private sponsorship. Our mission in Beijing is in contact with these students on a daily basis. They created a WhatsApp group called Wechat which enables them to chat. The officer designated to follow them up is Amb Philip Kanyoonzi,” Dr Aceng said in a statement she presented to Parliament on Wednesday.
Government says no Ugandan student in Wuhan has yet contracted the disease.
“During discussions with the Chinese Ambassador to Uganda, we got a reassurance that the Chinese government will do all it takes to ensure that the Ugandan students are well taken care of. 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,” she added.
China has reported 1,360 deaths from the virus which is believed to have originated from a market trading in wild animals in the central Chinese city of Wuhan. Uganda has no confirmed case of 2019-novel Coronavirus.
However, the risk importation of the virus into the country is still high due to its rapid spread, according to government.
Uganda is also a major trading partner with China with many citizens travelling to China for trade, education and tourism.
"There are so many Chinese nationals who come to Uganda for constructions, business and tourism. Uganda also has links with the other 24 nCoV affected countries. In view of the above, it is pertinent that Uganda remains on high alert and invest adequately and respond. The ministry of health remains on high alert to identify any person who may develop signs and symptoms of the disease,” Dr Aceng added.