According to Kenneth Byaruhanga, the Senior Immigration Officer in Charge of Mutukula Border post, the two neighbouring countries are uniformly enforcing Standard Operating Procedure (SOPs) including testing those leaving or returning to either country, to ensure that residents moving across borders are safe to proceed to their final destinations.
Uganda and Tanzania have resolved to jointly handle cross
border operations to combat Coronavirus Disease (COVID19). They have also tightened restrictions on cross-border movements.
According to Kenneth Byaruhanga, the Senior Immigration Officer
in Charge of Mutukula Border post, the two
neighbouring countries are uniformly enforcing Standard Operating
Procedure (SOPs) including testing those leaving or
returning to either country, to
ensure that residents moving across borders are safe to proceed to their final
The border authorities in Tanzania say that they are following
President Suluhu’s directives including taking a COVID-19 test
within 72-hours before arrival, quarantine of travellers found with
COVID-19 for 14 days and a rapid test after the 14-days all at their
expense. This, according to Byaruyhanga, is in addition to emphasizing regular handwashing, social distancing, and wearing of
face masks at the two customs offices.
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At Mutukula customs -Uganda there are two private testing
companies namely Maia Medical Lab as well as Test and Travel which charge 125,000 Shillings for a COVID test. But according to Bryaruhanga, there are more cases in the communities during the second wave of the pandemic, as opposed to the first wave when more of the cases were recorded among travellers.
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About the traffic floor, Byaruhanga says that they are currently
receiving cargo trucks, and licensed tourist vehicles and those returning to
He further noted that they used to receive an average of 150
people arriving and leaving the country per day before the 42-day-lockdown, but the number had fallen to at least 70 people by the time the lockdown ended on Friday.
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Kyotera district chairperson, Patrick Kintu Kisekulo says they are still facing the challenge of managing cross border
movements at the Nangoma and Musambwa Islands as well as Kasensero Landing site. Similarly, Magdalene Nasolo, the Mutukula LCI chairperson, says that due to a lack of strict enforcement, several residents do not observe the curfew and other SOPs.
Kyotera Resident District Commissioner
(RDC) Hajji Moses Ddumba, says that some travellers had deliberately refused to wear face masks, maintain social distance ing as well as respecting curfew guidelines on both sides of the border.
As a result, they hold bi-weekly meetings with the town council
leadership, wards and cell leaders, and border authorities to enforce the
strict observance of SOPs.
According to Joachim Lubega Wasswa, the District COVID-19 Surveillance Focal Person, the Kyotera wave peaked on June 7, 2021, with more than 1,000 people testing positive for the disease, whole nine lives were lost. He further attributed the increasing number to poor monitoring
of patients in home-based care adding that most of them have defied the
guidelines and keep roaming and interacting with unsuspecting members of the