COVID-19: Chinese to be Charged as Uganda Confirms Eight New Cases

Health Minister Dr. Jane Ruth Aceng addressing the press

The Ministry of Health has confirmed eight more cases of COVID-19. This brings the number of confirmed cases to nine in the country.

All the eight cases are Ugandan nationals who traveled to Uganda from Dubai, in the United Arab Emirates. They are believed to have entered Uganda on March 20 and 22, 2020.

Health Minister Dr. Jane Ruth Aceng says that the number of confirmed cases shows that the United Arab Emirates might have been under-reporting cases.

“Dubai was not among our high-risk countries. We now doubt that the information we got before was not right because all the cases we have traveled to Dubai,” Dr. Aceng said.

According to Dr. Aceng, six of the cases were picked from the airport while two were found in their homes where they are reported to have been self-quarantining.

Uganda announced its first case on Saturday, March 21, 2020, of a 36-year-old male who had traveled to Dubai on March 17, 2020, on a business trip.

At this moment, the government is still trying to locate 84 people who are believed to have come into contact with the country’s first case.

So far, more than 700 cases of the disease have been confirmed in Africa.

Meanwhile, six Chinese nationals who were arrested for escaping from quarantine will be arraigned in court once they test negative for the coronavirus, the spokesperson of the Criminal Investigations Directorate (CID), Charles Twine has revealed.

The suspects are Huang Haiguiang, Li Chaochyan, Qin Shening, Liang Xinging, Huang Wei and another whose identity could not be established. They are being held together with Swaburah Nansuna and her husband, Abdu Matovu, the driver of a super custom vehicle Registration number UBB 809K, which aided their escape from quarantine.

The suspects were expected to appear before the Nakawa Chief Magistrate’s Court on Monday according to the State Minister for Primary Health Care, Joyce Moriku Kaducu.

“The six Chinese nationals, who were arrested in Zombo for excusing themselves from quarantine before 14 days, have been returned to Kampala today. They will be tried tomorrow in Nakawa. This is not a drill”, said Kaducu on Monday.

She added that Uganda has taken drastic measures that everyone is expected to follow.

However, the group didn’t appear as expected.
The CID Spokesperson, Charles Twine, said they had submitted the suspect’s samples for testing and were waiting for results from the Health Ministry before they take their next step.

Twine said that they found it wise to keep the group under isolation before they are let to go to public places like court. The suspects are accused of escaping from self-quarantine at Kibuli Hotel Africa in Kampala District on March 19th, 2020 without completing the mandatory 14 days and went to Zombo District from where they were arrested.

According to the charge sheet drafted by Assistant Commissioner of Police in Charge of General Crimes, Francis Olugu, the group escaped unlawfully from quarantine well knowing that their action was likely to spread the infectious disease, which is dangerous to human life.

The escape came just a few hours after President; Yoweri Museveni banned movements in and outside the country with exception of the cargo to mitigate the spread of the disease that has since been confirmed in the country.


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