National Taskforce praises URA system for tracking COVID-19 cases, partnership instated to fight coronavirus

Malaba – A Ugandan cargo transporter who on Tuesday, April 14 tested positive for the deadly COVID-19 and finally intercepted by URA’s Tracking system the following day in Kamdini town in Northern Uganda.

A delegation led by Trade Minister, Hon. Amelia Kyambadde and Transport Minister Gen. Katumba Wamala, has, on Thursday April 16, met URA Commissioner General Musinguzi Rujoki to cultivate the initiative to use the Electronic Cargo Tracking System in the fight against COVID-19.

As one of the measures adopted to combat the spread of Covid19 at Uganda porous borders, government moved to have all truck drivers were required to test for COVID-19.

Uganda’s Customs authorities disclosed that the cargo transporter, enroute to Southern Sudan, was on April 12 cleared to dispatch and green-lighted by Health Ministry and immigrations officials after taking the COVID-19 test to proceed with his journey.

“The results came back and one of the drivers tested positive 24 hours after their dispatch. The URA Electronic Cargo Tracking System (RECTS) was used to trace the actual movement of the driver from Malaba OSBP up to Corner Kamdini Customs Checkpoint where he was intercepted,” URA Spokesperson Ivan Rumanyika confirmed.

RECTS utilizes the Global Positioning System (GPS) to trace the movement of trucks from their point of entry in a country right up to the point of exit to curb cargo dumping among many other risks along trade routes.

On a tour of the Regional Electronic Cargo Tracking System Control Centre, CG Musinguzi revelled the delegation on how trucks were electronically trailed in real-time from the points of entry up to when they exit the country.

“This monitoring can further provide information to you (Taskforce) on what is happening at the borders in terms of whether people are practising and adhering to the guidelines issued such as social distancing, handwashing and sanitizing, etc,” Musinguzi said.

The delegation, comprising other dignitaries from the Ministry of Internal Affairs and the Ministry of Health, visited the Central Command Targeting Center where they witnessed real-time monitoring of activities at the borders.

The National Taskforce Against COVID 19 together with URA management further discussed how to utilize The Regional Cargo Tracking System to ensure the safety of truck drivers in a bid to combat the spread of COVID-19.

The Health Ministry has, on Thursday, April 17, announced that all 1,162 suspected coronavirus samples tested negative at the Uganda Virus Research Institute.

Uganda’s confirmed coronavirus cases remain at 55 with 19 recoveries and 0 fatalities.

Dr. Henry Mwebesa, the Director-General Health Services at the Ministry of Health, confirmed that more patients had been discharged.

“Today, eight (8) patients who were positive for COVID-19 have fully recovered, tested negative twice for COVID-19 and discharged from Mulago Hospital Specialized (7) and (1) Hoima Hospital,” Dr Henry Mwebesa said.

He said that the total number of patients who have been been discharged is now 20.

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