In her statement to Parliament on Thursday, Aceng said that Ministry of Finance and that of Foreign Affairs were to remit US Dollars 61,800 to the students to support them as the government monitors the situation.
Government has said that Ugandan students living in Wuhan city, China are safe from the coronavirus.
This was carried in a statement by the Minister of Health Dr Jane Aceng to
parliament concerning the plight of Ugandan students in Wuhan China where the
Corona Virus epidemic broke out.
Earlier this week, Parliament called for evacuation of the students who they
said are starving due to lack of food.
In her statement to Parliament on Thursday, Aceng said that Ministry of Finance
and that of Foreign Affairs were to remit US Dollars 61,800 to the students to
support them as the government monitors the situation.
According to government, Uganda has about 105 students in Wuhan city
universities and out of these, 65 are known government-sponsored students while
40 are on private sponsorship.
“The Mission in Beijing is in contact with the students on daily basis through
a Whatsapp group called WeChat. The officer designated to follow them up is
called Amb. Phillip Kanyoonzi. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs also has
contacts of the next of kin of these students. No Ugandan student in Wuhan has
yet contracted the disease,” Dr Aceng reported.
She added that during government officials discussion with the Chinese
Ambassador to Uganda, there was a reassurance that the Chinese Government would
take care of Ugandan students in the University halls by providing them food
while those outside the university will be procured food.
Parliament also learnt that the ministry of Information, Communication and
Technology was to explore a possibility of creating a toll-free number where
the students can directly call and that government was also making arrangements
of meeting parents of the affected students.
Aceng said that they are to continue exploring the possibility of repatriating
the students and the country’s capacity to handle the outbreak.
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The Minister said that Uganda has no capacity to handle the outbreak of Corona
Virus and that it is still overwhelmed by previous outbreaks like Ebola.
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Dr Aceng confirmed to parliament that Uganda has not confirmed any case of the
2019- novel Corona Virus. She, however, said that the risk of its importation
into the county is still very high due to the rapid spread of the virus.
“Uganda is a major trading partner with China. May Ugandans travel to China for
Trade, Education and Tourism. There are also many Chinese nationals who come to
Uganda for construction, business and tourism. Uganda also has links with the
other 24 coronavirus affected countries,” said Aceng.
She said that the Ministry of Health remains on high alert to identify any
person who may develop signs and symptoms of the disease.
265 travellers both Chinese and Ugandans travelling back to the Country have
been isolated for purposes of follow up. Out of these, 166 are Chinese
nationals while 99 are Ugandan citizens.
of the 99 Ugandans, Aceng told parliament that 10 are students who were
supported to return home by their parents.
She said that government has put up several measures saying that the Uganda
Virus Research Institute has the necessary equipment and reagents to test the
virus, developed information distributed to travellers, strengthened screening
at Entebbe International Airport and others.