Museveni says no need for a lockdown to contain Ebola
Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni has ruled out imposing a lockdown to contain the highly contagious Ebola virus as the government had the capacity to control the outbreak.
Saying the country was well-equipped to contain the virus, Museveni said, “We decided that we shall not have lockdowns. It is not necessary.
There is no need for anxiety, no restrictions of movements, closure of schools, places of worship, markets as of now.”
Speaking on Wednesday, Museveni said that the confirmed cases stood at 24 with five confirmed deaths, adding that some 19 people who were classified as probable cases had also died.
On Tuesday, the death toll had reached 23 with six health workers at Mubende Regional Referral Hospital testing positive yesterday, (Wednesday).
At present, there is no licensed medication to prevent or treat Ebola, although a range of experimental drugs is in development.
Uganda, which shares a porous border with the DRC, has experienced several Ebola outbreaks, most recently in 2019 when at least five people died and even then, the 78-year-old President argued he never imposed a lockdown.
Ebola is a haemorrhagic fever whose symptoms include intense body weakness, muscle pain, headache and sore throat, vomiting, diarrhoea and rashes among others.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), the death rate is typically high, ranging up to 90 per cent in some outbreaks.
The virus is transmitted to people from wild animals (such as fruit bats, porcupines and non-human primates) and then spreads in the human population through direct contact with the blood, secretions, organs or other bodily fluids of infected people, and with surfaces and materials (e.g. bedding, clothing) contaminated with these fluids.
People who are infected do not become contagious until symptoms appear, which is after an incubation period of between two and 21 days.