By Our Reporter
President Museveni on Saturday evening extended a six-week lockdown on two districts at the epicentre of an Ebola outbreak that has claimed 55 lives but said its spread was being curbed.
Through the national address read by his Deputy, Jessica Alupo, Museveni ordered that the lockdown on Mubende and Kassanda to be renewed for 21 days, describing the situation as “still fragile”.
“If we open now and a case appears, we will have destroyed all the gains made in this war,” reads part of the later
Since the outbreak was declared on September 20, Ebola has spread across Uganda and reached the capital Kampala, though health authorities this week said case numbers were falling.
“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.”
According to WHO criteria, an outbreak of the disease ends when there are no new cases for 42 consecutive days — twice the incubation period of Ebola.
Health Minister Jane Ruth Aceng told AFP this week that the number of new cases being registered was declining and there were signs Uganda was “winning” the fight.” Continued the statement
The two central districts at the heart of the outbreak, Mubende and Kassanda, were placed under a 21-day lockdown by the president on October 15.
The measures — including a dusk-to-dawn curfew, a ban on personal travel, and the closure of markets, bars and churches — were extended on November 5 by another 21 days.
However, Uganda’s WHO office said Thursday that as of November 22, no case had been declared for nine days in Kampala, 10 days in Mubende and 12 days in Kassanda.