Coronavirus: Aviation Passenger traffic reduces by 50%

Given the flurry Coronavirus outbreak, Uganda has not been spared the effects of the pandemic explosion which has changed the current trend of businesses and events across the globe. According to Eng. Ayub Sooma, the director airports and aviation security, passenger traffic in Uganda has reduced by 50% to an extent of some airline companies suspending flights and operation. The aviation safety and security boss however, did not detail names of such airline companies that have suspended routes to Uganda. “Some airlines which used to do four trips, have since reduced to one trip, and those which used bring passengers everyday, have resorted to coming only twice a week,” noted Eng. Sooma, adding that, this has negatively impacted the tourism industry which is the largest foreign exchange earner in Uganda, and also affected other service sectors.

He made the remarks on Sunday evening during a monitoring exercise carried out by health officials led by the minister Dr. Jane Ruth Aceng, accompanied by Dr. Yonas Tegegn the country representative for World Health Organisation among other officials. The minister intimated that monitoring was meant to re-affirm the ongoing screening exercise and to give supportive supervision to the team engaged in the whole exercise. “We take time off, to listen to the people who do the screening exercise,” noted minister Aceng. She added that, the ministry in collaboration with Uganda Civil Aviation Authority, is going to re-think, re-plan and re-design the screening exercise at Entebbe airport in order to reduce congestion at the screening section. “If the new design is complete, everybody including the VIP, will use that section for free-flow of passengers,” explained the minister.

Dr. Yonas Tegegn the country representative for World Health Organisation implored every concerned party to use whichever avenue believed to prevent the spread of Covid19 in Uganda. He however, expressed the country’s preparedness in handling the pandemic, saying Uganda is better prepared than it was in the past few years. This comes after neigbouring countries like Rwanda and Kenya have registered cases of coronavirus pandemic leading to abolition local gatherings, among other changes in the social life of their citizenry.

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