I knew this was going to happen. Heck, I suspect we all did. I didn’t think it would happen so soon!
25 airline passengers were arrested in Uganda when it was discovered their “negative COVID-19 certificates” were forgeries.
According to the BBC, 23 passengers, comprised of 13 men and 10 women, were arrested when they were checking in to Entebbe International Airport near the Ugandan capital of Kampala. 2 others were arrested when the plane landed.
As per Aviation Health Specialist Dr. James Ayul, test results are loaded electronically into a central system by the Ministry of Health and they saw the discrepancies when they logged into the system to cross-check everyone’s documentation.
Said Kampala Metropolitan Police spokesperson Patrick Onyango: “We have been receiving reports there are people who are forging COVID-19 certificates and traveling abroad which gives a bad image to government of Uganda.”
Uganda reopened its doors to international travel on October 1st. The guidelines for the East African country requires travelers, both inbound and outbound, to show proof of a negative COVID-19 test:
- Arrival protocols. All travelers arriving in Uganda must have a negative COVID-19 certificate. The test must have been performed within 72 hours of arrival. Neither foreign travelers nor Ugandan citizens will be required to quarantine if they have a negative COVID-19 test. Arriving travelers are required to provide their addresses to the Ministry of Health for follow up.
- Departure protocols. Passengers leaving Uganda must obtain a valid PCR COVID-19 PCR test within the 72-hour period before departure. Where a PCR test is not available, the passenger must ensure that he or she has clearance from the country being traveled to in order to demonstrate that it is not possible to take a PCR COVID-19 test and will be allowed to enter the country on arrival.
Dr, Ayul reports that health officers have now been assigned to the airport’s departures and arrivals areas to authenticate COVID-19 test certificates.
The 25 were charged with forgery and altering forged documents. Part of their investigation will be interrogation to find out where they got the forged certificates.
Again, we all knew this would be coming. I’m glad the Ugandan officials could catch most of them before they boarded and the rest when they landed. I have to assume that as testing becomes more routine and required in the U.S., they’ll have a more foolproof system set up.
Feature Photo: Pikist
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This post first appeared on Your Mileage May Vary