Uganda gov’t cuts COVID-19 testing fees by half at Entebbe, border points
The government has okayed a plan to takeover the testing of arriving passengers at Entebbe International Airport, starting next week, the Minister for ICT and National Guidance, Chris Baryomunsi has announced.
This follows the introduction of the mandatory PCR Covid-19 testing for all passengers entering Uganda.
“It was agreed that all travelers entering the borders including Entebbe International Airport would undergo a mandatory sample removal for testing Covid-19,” Baryomunsi told journalists at the Uganda Media center.
The decision comes in the wake of a visit around the facilities carrying out PCR tests at the Entebbe International Airport by the Prime Minister, Robinah Nabbanja early this week.
After the tour Nabbanja expressed concern that there were some gaps in service delivery which were causing delays and complaints from the travelling public.
After the visit on Monday Septemner 11, Nabbanja wrote on her twitter account that: “Today I led a team of some of the members of the National Taskforce on Covid-19 on an inspection of testing facilities for incoming passengers at Entebbe international Airport with a view of fixing gaps in services offered
Prior to that, travelers were complaining of exorbitant fees and delayed results, travelers were paying 60-65 dollars per PCR test, however, the minister said with governments take over, this has been reduced to $30.
“It was further agreed that the PCR tests for arriving passengers shall be carried out by government and not private laboratories that are currently doing the tests.”
He said the arrangement to shift from private laboratories to the government facilities will be done within one week and that a similar arrangement is being done at all the country’s entry points.
Baryomunsi further revealed there will be a special arrangement for tourists, “Passengers with tourist visas will have their samples taken but will be permitted to proceed to their respective hotels as they wait for results.”
The Minister said the development is meant to control the importation of new variants from other countries, like the deadly MU variant from South America and Colombia.
He said many travelers have been presenting negative PCR results upon arrival, however some have tested positive attributing it to forging PCR results, contracting the virus while in transit among others.