The decision by the Government of Uganda to bring back the requirement of a negative PCR test for incoming travellers, has engaged many Ugandans with many arguing that the decision was based more on business than public health concerns.
Following protests by truck drivers at Uganda’s border with Kenya, the Uganda government had lifted the requirement for possession of negative PCR for incoming travellers.
The Director General of health services, Dr. Henry Mwebesa, had in a Feb 16 communication said the government had lifted the Negative PRC test for all incoming passengers.
The government cited low cases of COVID-19 cases as grounds for the decision.
Now however, in an apparent U-turn, the measure has been reintroduced at Entebbe effective March 29, 2022.
Many people have opposed the idea saying it is largely meant to enrich owners of laboratories that carry out the PCR tests, as opposed to promoting vaccination.
Much of the criticism is based on the fact that many countries have since removed the negative PCR test to enter their countries.
Daniel Kalinaki, the News Director at Nation Media Group said: “Uganda could ask travellers for proof of Covid-19 vaccination instead of tests and raise its ridiculously low vaccination rate. But THEY won’t let public health stand in the way of private wealth.”
Others say the decision will hurt Uganda’s already struggling tourism industry as tourists move to countries with lesser and less costly travel measures.