Why Can’t We Have Similar Covid-19 Testing Costs- Stranded Cargo Truck Drivers Cry Out At The Newly Reopened Gatuna-Katuna Border Post
By Uganda Online Media
Kampala: Cargo truck drivers using the newly opened Gatuna- Katuna border post between Rwanda and Uganda have raised concerns over varying Covid-19 test charges between the two countries.
According to some drivers, Rwanda health officials are charging less money 5 dollars( UGX18,000) compared to their Uganda counterparts who are charging over 30 dollars( UGX108,000) thus calling for upon the two East African member states to harmonize the Covid-19 test costs at once.
According to Asuman Musa, a Kenyan cargo truck driver, he paid UGX 18,000 for a covid 19 test at Gatuna on the Rwandan side but was asked to pay UGX 108,000 on the Ugandan side which he says is not fair yet the tests are all the same.
Another cargo truck driver, Kyeyune Muyanja from Kampala, who was taking the merchandise to Kigali-Rwanda revealed that he was charged Shs100,000= for a covid 19 test at Katuna and later presented the test result document on the Rwandan side where he was not charged.
Yesterday, members of Parliament summoned the Minister in charge of East African Affairs, Rebecca Kadaga to update the country and clarify issues surrounding the full reopening of the Uganda-Rwanda border post at Katuna following reports that Ugandan passengers were not allowed to cross to Rwanda.
The MPs expressed concerns that individual access to either country was still restricted despite confirmation of border reopening however, Rwanda authorities still insist that the restrictions are meant to curb the spread of deadly covid-19.
Commenting on the developing conflicts at the border post, the operations manager for MAIA medical laboratories, a company that has been mandated by the Ministry of Health to provide covid19 testing services at Katuna border post, Peter Nkore explains that all travelers with valid PCR covid 19 test result document that is genuine are cleared to enter Uganda or cross to Rwanda but those with RDT covid 19 test result documents are required to pay Shs100,000 for PCR covid 19 testing.