The new measures revive painful memories of COVID-era restrictions but the President has finally agreed with Uganda Medical Association that they are essential to contain further spread of deadly Ebola disease.
President Yoweri Museveni yesterday Saturday October 15, imposed a 21-day lockdown in two districts of Mubende and Kassanda, alongside other tough measures that are aimed at containing the spread of Ebola disease.
President Museveni also put Kampala on alert, in what he called ‘full mobilization’ of Kampala district, after two cases of Ebola that originated from Mubende, were detected in Kampala district.
The 24 new measures, reminiscent of the painful COVID-era lockdowns that paralyzed lives, have sent chills down the spines of many people, especially those with families and businesses in the two districts.
But the President urged all Ugandans to cooperate with the measures so as to bring the outbreak under control in the shortest possible time and avoid wider distortions to lifestyles and businesses.
The Uganda Medical Association (UMA) was the first group to demand these movement restrictions, even though the government had initially resisted them.
The Ebola outbreak has put Uganda in unfavourable international spotlight after the US government asked Ugandan authorities to stop international travel of persons with contacts to Ebola victims.
Below is the summery of the President’s new measures. Full address is here.
1. No movements into and out of Mubende and Kassanda Districts for 21 days
2. Movement from Kassanda to Mubende and vice versa is prohibited.
3. Curfew in Mubende and Kassanda starts from 7:00pm to 6:00am.
4. Movement of persons within their respective district (Mubende and Kassanda) is allowed.
5. Public and private transport in two affected districts is banned.
6. ONLY Cargo vehicles, vehicles supporting the response to Ebola outbreak, authorized Government vehicles and Security vehicles are permitted to move BUT SHALL NOT TAKE PEOPLE IN OR OUT OF MUBENDE AND KASSANDA.
7. Transit vehicles (public and private) crossing the two districts allowed but only with police clearance and prohibited from STOPPING TO PICK OR DROP PEOPLE.
8. Cargo trucks allowed but with only the driver and turn-boy.
9. All cargo shall be delivered to the districts of Mubende and Kassanda during the day. Cargo vehicles shall be required to leave by 5:00pm and the operators will not sleep in any of the two districts. Anyone who sleeps in the districts shall remain there for 21 days.
10. All seasonal markets (butale bw’ Omubuulo) are suspended.
11. The Mines in the respective districts allowed to operate but without movement from either district.
12. Schools allowed to remain open but learners should be allowed to move when in school uniform. Temperature of all learners, teachers and non teaching staff should be monitored on a daily basis.
13. Any School absence must be reported immediately to the response teams and investigated.
14. All children, teachers and non-teaching staff who have had contact with a person who has signs and
symptoms of Ebola should not go to school.
15. All places of worship remain closed.
16. All bars and entertainment places closed.
17. All burials (whether Ebola or not) shall be conducted by Safe Burial Teams for 21 days. Samples will be taken from all dead bodies and tested for Ebola.
18. Government to intensify public health awareness
19. Ministry of Health to intensify surveillance and contact tracing in the two districts to pick out all
20. Enforce hand washing/sanitizing using alcohol hand rub in both districts.
21. Ministry of Health will secure and deploy twenty (20) ambulances from various districts and Regional Referral Hospitals to the two districts for continuity of essential health services.
22. Ministry of Health will mobilize and deploy 10 vans for transportation of health workers in the two
23. Health workers with vehicles shall be given permits by the RDCs to move only within their districts.
24. Ministry of Health will provide PPEs to all registered health facilities (private and public) in the two