The Ugandan government has said it’s too costly to charter a plane to bring home an estimated 105 students stranded in the virus-hit city of Wuhan, in China, but is to send them some financial assistance.
Currently there are no plans to repatriate the students, with the debate dividing Uganda’s parliament. This will be unwelcome news for the students who have said they’ve been traumatised by weeks of isolation and the fear that they could contract coronavirus.
Health Minister Dr Jane Ruth Aceng also told parliament on Thursday that Uganda neither has the knowledge nor a specialised facility to handle an outbreak.
She however said the government would give $61,000 (£46,700) to support students in Wuhan that will be wired to their phones. It is unclear how much each student will receive.
Some of the students have complained that they were running out of money, food and protective face masks. They have been running a social media campaign under the hashtag #EvacuateUgandansInWuhan.
The government confirmed that over 260 travellers, both Chinese and Ugandan nationals, have been asked to self-isolate for two week after they arrived from China on Thursday.
Last week, some 100 people who arrived from China through Entebbe International airport were put under quarantine.
There have however been questions about how effective the government’s measures have been, with reports of people entering the country without proper checks.