What you need to know:
- The equipment donated includes; one automated computerized thermal scanner, 10 automated sanitisers Saraya type, one automated walkthrough booth disinfector with temperature reading, and four stand-alone air conditioners including installation with drainage system, among others.
By Eve Muganga
The government of Uganda through the Uganda Civil Aviation Authority has received COVID-19 safety equipment worth Shs1 billion from the International Organisation for Migration (IOM) as part of the efforts to ensure safer operations when passenger operations eventually resume at Entebbe International Airport.
According to the Ag Director-General UCAA, Mr Fred Bamwesigye, during this lockdown, UCAA held several stakeholder engagements aimed at ensuring the readiness of the airport facilities and one was with the IOM which was initiated by the ministry of works and transport.
"It aimed at helping in meeting the required Standard Operating Procedures issued by the World Health Organisation and the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) to guard against the spread of COVID-19 through Air travels,” he said on Tuesday while receiving the equipment at UCAA head offices in Entebbe.
Mr Bamwesigye noted that the equipment will go a long way in ensuring the safety of passengers and front line airport staff.
"It’s important to note that a number of interventions are being undertaken by the government of Uganda and are being implemented by UCAA to provide a conducive environment for the users of Entebbe International Airport," he said.
Mr Bamwesigye added that a number of other interventions to address the challenges occasioned by the COVID-19 pandemic on air travel have been put in place like; the installation of automated sanitizers at various points within the terminal building, social distancing marks on the ground, and passengers waiting seats within the lounges among others.
The Minister of State for Transport Hon Joy Kabatsi while receiving the equipment said the government of Uganda is working hand in hand with many stakeholders in the aviation, tourism, and trade sectors to draw strategies aimed at putting in place mitigation measures to curb the spread of COVID-19 through air travel when passengers operations resume.
"The mitigation measures have so far been tested with evacuation flights for foreigners and repatriation flights for returning Ugandans and has so far proved to be effective. Therefore, the equipment received from IOM should be able to greatly complement the measures in place to ensure a comfortable passenger experience through Entebbe International Airport,” she said.
Ms Rosa Malango, the UN Resident Coordinator and Designated official for Security, said: “COVID-19 puts all of humanity at risk and requires an urgent and coordinated multi-stakeholder response focused on the intensification of surveillance, detection, and containment measures, as well as case management and community engagement. In Uganda, the ministry of health supported by WHO has worked closely to ensure that preventive measures are rolled out, and case management is improved. It’s important to recognise that the major challenge for airports and other points of entry is to ensure that passengers remain comfortable and safe while managing the spread of COVID-19. Therefore IOM will provide new equipment required by the UCAA to meet new airport safety and security standards so that the new terminal can be used.”
The equipment donated includes; one automated computerized thermal scanner, 10 automated sanitisers Saraya type, one automated walkthrough booth disinfector with temperature reading, and four stand-alone air conditioners including installation with drainage system, among others.