Uganda has lifted a two-month Ebola lockdown imposed in the epicentre of the outbreak. President Yoweri Museveni in a statement read for him last weekend by Vice President Jessica Alupo said the restrictions were lifted because there is no transmission, no contact under follow-up, and no patients in the isolation facilities.
“It is against this background that I am lifting all movement restrictions and curfew in Mubende and Kassanda districts with immediate effect,” the president said. “This doesn’t mean that the outbreak has ended, we remain on high alert with intense surveillance across the country,” he added.
Museveni said the country was on the countdown to being declared Ebola-free by the World Health Organization (WHO).”Though we have registered great success in the containment of this epidemic, I have been told that we still have 24 days to complete the 42 days which are two incubation cycles, to give us reassurance that the outbreak is under control,” Museveni said.
The WHO says for a country to be declared Ebola-free, it should spend 42 days (two 21-day incubation cycles of the virus) without any new cases reported. Ministry of Health figures show that since the outbreak on Sept. 20, there is a total of 142 confirmed cases, 56 deaths, and 86 recoveries with no more contacts under follow-up. The most affected district was Mubende, which was also the initial epicentre district of this outbreak.