The Executive Director of Uganda National Roads Authority (UNRA), Allen Kagina has admitted that the outbreak of the deadly coronavirus in China has hit Uganda’s road sector, leaving the Authority stuck with road projects after many of the expertise were left holed up in China.
Kagina made the revelation on Wednesday, February 26 while briefing the country on UNRA’s half-year performance at the Authority’s headquarters in Kampala.
The Authority boss told journalists that many road construction projects contracts were awarded to Chinese companies and that by the time of the outbreak, some of the critical staff had returned back home to celebrate the Chinese New year and many failed to return following the travel ban slapped on Chines residents.
Kagina said, “It is true we have many projects with Chinese nationals and we are in touch with them through the Chinese Embassy. Some of them were not able to report back because travel is very restricted, by the time we got to know about the coronavirus, it was in the middle of celebrations of Chinese New Year.”
However, Kagina allay fears among Ugandans saying the government is still studying the impact of this outbreak to their projects and are in touch with Chinese embassy.
World Health Organisation (WHO) recently gave the deadly virus a name known as COVID-19, with latest report indicating that the virus has spread to almost 30 countries and in China, it has infected some 77,000 people and killed more than 2,500.
Despite fears that the disease is drifting to a pandemic, WHO has declined to declare the virus a pandemic saying the coronavirus outbreak has not reached the level of a pandemic but warned countries to step up preparations to deal with such a scenario, as new deaths and infections were reported in the Middle East and Europe.