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Returnees in Sheraton Hotel Petition Against Extended Isolation

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The group has already exhausted the 14 mandatory days of quarantine after their arrival into the country. But they must endure another three days of confinement while waiting for the Ministry of Health to undertake confirmatory COVID-19 tests before releasing them.
Sheraton hotel Kampala

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A section of returnees quarantined at Sheraton Kampala Hotel has sought the intervention of Parliament after the Ministry of Health extended their quarantine days by three.

They are part of the more than 800 Ugandans and legal residents who returned from Afghanistan, India, Southern Africa, Ireland and the United Kingdom, among other countries, since June 22. As a condition for their return, they were advised to stay in quarantine for 14 days and only go home after confirming that they are not infected with COVID-19.

The group has already exhausted the 14 mandatory days of quarantine after their arrival into the country. But they must endure another three days of confinement while waiting for the Ministry of Health to undertake confirmatory COVID-19 tests before releasing them.

The group has since sent an appeal to the Speaker of Parliament Rebecca Kadaga seeking an intervention to end the confinement saying that many of them had not budgeted for the extra days and have since run out of money to sustain their stay away from home.

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URN could not establish if a positive case was got in the Sheraton Kampala hotel where some people are being quarantined. But Emmanuel Ainebyona, the Spokesperson Ministry of Health says that they are being held as the Ministry awaits results from the second samples that were recently taken from them.

"They will be released anytime soon as long as their samples get back. Although they tested negative the first time, they will need to wait for their second result and they will be released", Ainebyona.

Last week, another group of returnees which is quarantines in Entebbe led a protest against spending more than 14 days in institutional quarantine. 

The returnees through a one, Ivan Bwowe lawyer who returned from Ireland, wrote to Ministry of Health challenging the extra days.  In his letter, he stated that they will have no contractual obligation with the Quarantine Centre’s at the end of the 14th day, yet many of them only budgeted for the days that they were told before boarding planes to Uganda. 

Two other returnees, who preferred anonymity told URN that they have already spent so much in airfares to return home. One says that they have spent over 8 million Shillings on travel costs and will pay over more than three million Shillings on quarantine at a cost of 170,000 Shillings a day. 

In April, a cross-section of People held under quarantine in different parts of Kampala and Entebbe declared a hunger strike after the Health Ministry extended their stay for another 14 days. 

According to the Uganda Virus Research Institute, scientifically if the people under quarantine did not mix and were locked up in their rooms, they should be cleared to go. 

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