Uganda announces lockdown as Ebola cases rise
The Uganda Ministry of Health announced on Friday that it would impose a nationwide lockdown on all locations where Ebola cases were identified, effective immediately.
In a press briefing, the ministry said that the lockdown would help to prevent the spread of the deadly virus.
It is the first of its kind, and was agreed upon by the government and its international partners, including the World Health Organisation (WHO).
The lockdown would apply to the capital Kampala as well as more than 2,000 locations across the country.
“I am here today to announce this nationwide lockdown, effective immediately. I am making this announcement after intensive consultations with relevant agencies and with the public,” WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said at the press conference.
“At this time when we really need to protect those we love. We need to protect everyone, all Ugandans, especially our family members and our loved ones, in line with the commitment to fight Ebola.
“So we are asking the public to be very vigilant in the months ahead, and particularly to try and contact the authorities if they have come into contact with one of the persons who tested positive for Ebola.”
Kampala residents and healthcare staff are being asked to stay at home, except for those who have a medical emergency.
“Those who have a duty to do so must ensure that they monitor themselves when they are not sick. They must also be in a place where they are not at risk of spreading the virus,” Tedros said.
The World Health Organisation, which has confirmed more than 6,000 cases of Ebola in the West African countries of Liberia, Sierra Leone, Guinea and Nigeria alone, is urging people around the world to avoid contact with sick people.
“We have confirmed more than 6,000 cases in 29 countries around the world, including more than 500 in the United States,” Tedros said.
“We are working with global health partners to strengthen prevention messages and ensure that those who have been affected by Ebola know how to keep themselves safe.
“We are also working with local