Uganda locks down two districts for three weeks in bid to check spread of Ebola
A three-week lockdown has been imposed in Uganda’s two central region districts to curb the spread of Ebola, which has killed 19 people since the first death nearly a month ago.
Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni announced on Saturday (15 October) he has ordered the lockdown to restrict movements into and out of Mubende and Kassanda, as well as travel between the affected districts, after an increase in community infections. With the exception of cargo trucks and Ebola-response vehicles, public transport, private cars and motorcycle taxis are not permitted to operate and a dusk-to-dawn curfew has been imposed in the areas, he said. Museveni had already ordered traditional healers to stop treating sick people and ordered police to arrest anyone suspected of having contracted the virus who refused to go into isolation.
Health ministry reports 19 deaths and 58 confirmed cases since the outbreak was first reported on September 20. Although there is no cure for Ebola, early identification of cases and treatment of symptoms greatly increases chances of survival. Authorities said the outbreak is concentrated in the two affected districts and has not reached Kampala, the capital of 1.5 million, despite a husband and wife testing positive there. “These are temporary measures to control the spread of Ebola. We should all cooperate with authorities so we bring this outbreak to an end in the shortest possible time,” the Ugandan leader said.