Travel and Tourism
Travel

Uganda has suspended primate tourism in efforts to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) from humans to gorillas or chimpanzees.

Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA), the state-owned conservation body, said in a statement issued here on Wednesday that primate tourism and research has been suspended until April 30, 2020.UWA has also suspended filming of primates. The conservation body said trackers will be provided with necessary personal protective equipment to avoid passing on any possible infection to the primates. The agency has also formed a taskforce to update management on the day-to-day developments in the containment of the spread of COVID-19.

Uganda has so far registered 9 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and the government fears more cases may be recorded. The country has since the outbreak instituted several measures to stop the spread of the disease. Among the measures is to close all its borders to incoming or outgoing travelers. Primate tourism contributes a bigger share to the country’s tourism earnings. Tourism is one of the country’s major foreign exchange earners, bringing in over 1.5 billion U.S. dollars annually. Experts however warn that the outbreak of COVID-19 is likely to have a big negative impact on the tourism earnings.

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