Uganda: President Yoweri Museveni extends lockdown on Mubende and Kassandra by 21 days

Uganda’s president has extended a six-week lockdown on two districts at the epicentre of an Ebola outbreak in the nation.

Describing the situation as “still fragile”, President Yoweri Museveni extended a lockdown on the two central districts of Mubende and Kassandra by 21 days. 

Watch | World of Africa: Ebola outbreak in Uganda

In a speech to the nation, Museveni said “If we open now and a case appears, we will have destroyed all the gains made in this war” adding, “I therefore appeal for calm and understanding. Our health workers will continue to do all it takes to save lives and bring the epidemic to an end.”

The outbreak as per AFP was declared on September 20 and since then Ebola has spread across Uganda and has even spread to the capital Kampala. However, health authorities this week said that the number of cases was falling.

According to the health minister, Jane Ruth Aceng, there are indications that Uganda is “winning” the battle since the number of new cases being reported is falling.

Museveni also said that while it was still too soon to rejoice, “but overall I have been briefed that the picture is good.”

The Uganda office of WHO said that as of November 22, no cases have been reported for nine days in Kampala, ten days in Mubende, or twelve days in Kassanda.

Mubende and Kassanda, were originally placed under a 21-day lockdown on October 15.

The measures include closing markets, pubs, and churches, enforcing a dusk-to-dawn curfew, and a restriction on personal travel. 

On November 5, it was extended by an additional 21 days.

The outbreak has to date claimed the lives of 55 people. A total of 141 cases have been reported since the beginning of the outbreak, said the country’s health ministry on Friday.

(With inputs from agencies)

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