Mubende, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | President Yoweri Museveni has suspended movement to and from Mubende and Kassanda districts to control the spread of the Ebola virus. The lockdown will last 21 days.
In his address to the nation on Saturday evening, Museveni said there will be no movement from anywhere to the two districts and from the two districts to other parts of the country. Movement from Mubende to Kassanda is also prohibited.
The president also instituted a curfew suspending movement outside between 7pm to 6am as well as movement of public and private transport except for cargo vehicles delivering supplies, Ministry of Health vehicles delivering services, authorised government vehicles and security vehicles. These vehicles are also bared from ferrying passengers and that they should restrict themselves within one district.
The directive comes as a response to reports that one of the latest Ebola victims came from Mubende to Kampala. He was a man identified as Twagirayezu Ndahiro, who died at Kiruddu Hospital days after he was listed as a contact.
Another victim, a lady also from Mubende died in Kampala. In his address, Museveni said that there are two other people now battling the virus while over 13 people expected to have traveled in a taxi with these infected people are in communities like Kibuku in Eastern region.
“I am now here pleading with people, please don’t die. What sort of people are these? So now movements into and out of Mubende are prohibited. Don’t try to exit or enter Mubende district. If you’re in Mubende stay there, don’t move out of there and if you want to go to Mubende don’t move into,” Museveni said.
Mubende and Kassanda district are transit districts for people exiting Kampala to Kyegegwa, Kyenjojo, Kabarole and Kasese districts. But the president says people from those other districts will be allowed to transit with clearance of security and shall not stop to pick, offload passengers or fuel vehicles in Mubende.
All cargo shall be delivered to districts and leave by 5pm. Anyone who sleeps in Mubende or Kassanda shall be required to stay there for 21 days.
The president also suspended all seasonal markets but said that mines shall remain open only to people in those districts. Owners of mines are required to install hand washing facilities and temperature guns for all people accessing the mines to be checked.
The President further said that schools shall remain open and students required to move while in uniforms. Schools have been instructed to install hand washing facilities and temperature guns.
The government directed that any school absence must be reported immediately to the response teams and investigated while all children, teachers and non-teaching staff who have had contact with a person who has signs and symptoms of Ebola should not go to school.
The restrictions shall also affect seasonal markets, worship places, social places like bars and gyms while all burials shall be conducted by the safe burial teams, regardless of whether the deceased had Ebola or not.
Government confirmed the outbreak of Ebola Sudan variant on September 20, 2022 in Mubende district. The virus has since spread to Kassanda and other districts.
According to the Ministry of Health data, 19 people have so far died from Ebola while 54 have been infected and 20 people are said to have recovered including five medics from the first hospital where a case was treated in Mubende. They were discharged on Tuesday.
Ebola can be transmitted from one person to other through exposure to liquids from the affected person. Some of the symptoms of the virus include headache, fever, diarrhoea, and unexpected bleeding from body openings like the nose and the mouth.