After finding some Ugandan migrant workers traveling to the Middle East with fake COVID-19 test certificates, the Ugandan government on Tuesday ordered retesting of all migrant workers going abroad.

According to the Health Ministry, this is being done to ensure that the COVID-19 tests of all the migrant workers meet international health regulations.

Spokesperson Emmanuel Ainebyoona told reporters that the retesting will be done by government laboratories free of charge. “A number of migrant workers having forged certificates from Uganda tested positive in the Middle East. We want to end this practice,” he said.

Diana Atwine, the ministry’s permanent secretary, said the exercise is being done to protect the credibility of the health system in Uganda, meet international obligations and stop further blacklisting of the East African country from international travel arrangements.

Last month, officials revealed that at least 800 people had received counterfeit COVID-19 vaccines by a network which duped many people and companies.

Uganda has officially registered more than 88,000 COVID-19 cases and 2,164 deaths from the disease. More than a million people have been vaccinated in the nation of 44 million.

The highly infectious Delta variant that was first identified in India is fueling Africa’s new surge in cases.

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