Ebola: 'Uganda is safe', Museveni tells international guests
7 months ago
All documented Ebola contacts have been barred from leaving Uganda.
Visitors arriving at Entebbe International Airport on December 1, 2021. President Museveni says Uganda remains safe for international guests amid the localised Ebola situation. (AFP)
PRESIDENTIAL ADDRESS ON EBOLA 🎙️
Live reporting by Joseph Kizza
(Scroll down this page for earlier text updates)
9:12 pm | It is a wrap
We won't go beyond the President's one-hour address, so we shall end this text commentary here. Thank you for following along, and remember to stay safe.
You are welcome to Uganda, the Pearl of Africa.
9:11 pm | Museveni ends address
And with that reassurance to the local people and the international commuunity in equal measure, President Museveni ends his latest address on the Ebola status in Uganda.
9:10 pm | 'Uganda is safe, you are welcome'
President Museveni says further spread of Ebola "stretches the health system" and makes the disease "difficult to control".
He says he has been informed that international tourists have been put off from visiting Uganda due to the outbreak and that some international conferences have been moved to other countries due to Ebola in the country.
But he has some reassurance for visitors.
"I would like to reassure the international community, tourists, conference organisers and Ugandans that the Government has put in place measures to stop the spread of the disease."
The President adds: "The Ebola outbreak is localised to only six out of 146 districts of Uganda. Uganda remains safe and we welcome international guests."
He says Government is doing all it takes to avoid further spread of Ebola as well as its exportation outside of Uganda, adding that the list of Ebola contacts has been availed to immigration authorities to prevent them from moving to other countries.
"If you don't co-operate, we shall give your names to other countries so that if you use panya (shortcuts), they will not allow you entry," Museveni warns listed Ebola contacts.
He adds that there is screening for Ebola being conducted at Entebbe International Airport and at land border points for such details as temperature and history of contact.
9:01 pm | 'Stop shaking hands!'
President Museveni says Ebola is "easy to manage if all people co-operate and follow the directions of the health workers".
The main entry points for the virus are the eyes, mouth and broken skin of an infected person, he adds.
"Stop shaking hands! Shaking hands doesn't show that you love people. It is not necessary. Just a kajambo kamala [Just a wave is enough]."
8:56 pm | Lockdown continues in Mubende and Kassanda
Pictured below, Jakana Nelson and Peter Kirya are seen keeping guard on shops upon closure in Mubende district late last month following the announcement of the lockdown in Mubende and Kassanda districts.
8:49 pm | President announces measures
As a result of the said challenges, Museveni announces the following measures for Mubende and Kassanda districts:
- The health ministry and district leaders must intensify sensitization of boda boda riders on the dangers of movement into other areas.
- All traditional healers and witchdoctors are prohibited from receiving clients.
- All boda boda riders must stop the passenger relay system. If not, they will be stopped from moving even cargo.
- All trucks carrying logs or timber are banned with immediate effect from movement into and out of Mubende and Kassanda districts until the end of the second 21-day incubation period is over.
8:45 pm | Four major challenges for Kassanda
Kassanda has four major challenges, says the President, which are:
1. Passenger relay system by boda bodas (instead of carrying only cargo)
2. Frequent visits to traditional healers
3. Myths, misconceptions and misinformation
4. Escape of Ebola contacts onboard timber trucks
8:42 pm | 'Myths slowing progress in Kassanda'
The cases of Ebola have reduced to one case per day in Mubende district, says Museveni.
But he adds that progress in Kassanda "has been slow" because of lack of co-operation on the part of local leaders, non-adherance to standard operating procedures, myths and misconceptions, as well as people visiting traditional healers.
8:39 pm | Pictured 📸
The photo below of empty streets was taken in Mubende town 12 days after President Museveni's October 15 directive to impose a 21-day curfew and lockdown in Mubende and Kassanda districts. An extension was later announced after the three-week incubation period had gone by without much improvement in the situation.
8:32 pm | No progress yet in Kassanda - Museveni
The President says that despite last month's restrictions on boda boda movements in Mubende and Kassanda districts, some riders are flouting the regulations by transporting people into other districts, posing a risk of further spread of the disease to other areas.
He says that while there has been some progress made in Mubende district, it is not the same for Kassanda district, the other area put under lockdown in mid-October.
8:27 pm | 'Efforts paying off'
"Our efforts are beginning to pay off, as we have seen a decline in the number of cases in Mubende," says Museveni.
"For 18 days, we had not got a case until yesterday when we got one case," he adds, going on to thank the people of Mubende for their "determination" in ending the spread of the disease.
8:22 pm | Museveni begins national address
"I am back to talk to you about Ebola and this is the fourth time I am doing this," says President Yoweri Museveni, as he gets his address started and thanks health minister Aceng for standing in for him to announce the extension of the lockdown in Mubende and Kassanda districts after the initial 21-day incubation period elapsed.
Ebola has since spread to other districts, he says, notably in Masaka and Jinja.
As of today, the disease is active in six districts: Mubende, Kassanda, Kampala, Wakiso, Masaka and Jinja. Bunyangabu and Kagadi have been dropped from the list because they have gone 42 days - two incubation cycles - without a new case reported in recent days.
Museveni thanks the two districts (Bunyangabu and Kagadi) for "listening" and working to stop the spread of the disease.
As of today, there have been 141 confirmed cases of Ebola in Uganda, 55 of whom have died, 73 have recovered and 13 are still admitted in Ebola treatment units in different parts of the country.
The President says the Ebola deaths could have been avoided and says it is a shame that the cases, who included health workers, succumbed to the disease.
8:10 pm | The last time the President spoke on Ebola
The President should be appearing on our screens and radios not long from now. But as we wait, take a quick look at what he said in his last address on Ebola mid-last month HERE.
7:56 pm | Fatal Ebola case in Jinja
Last Sunday, health minister Dr. Jane Ruth Aceng took to her Twitter page to offer some details on a case of Ebola that died in Jinja district in eastern Uganda on Novermber 10. In a series of tweets in which she called for vigilance on the part of everyone, the minister said the dead man was linked to another "probable case", his sibling. Here is what she wrote 👇🏽
A confirmed fatal Ebola case has been reported in Kayalwe B village, Buyengo sub-county, Jinja district. This was a 45-year-old male who is linked to a probable case, his brother.
The brother, who is linked to the Rubaga cluster, travelled to Jinja, where he was ill for 10 days and passed on on November 3, 2022. The confirmed case also died at his home on November 10 and was buried on November 12.
A sample was obtained on the 10th from the dead body by healthworkers from St. Catherine Medical Centre, Luzinya Buwenge, a private clinic where he had sought treatment before passing on. Contact tracing and epidemiological investigations have been activated.
Fellow Ugandans, let's remain vigilant! If you have had contact with an Ebola case, do not run away, report to the nearest public health facility.
7:45 pm | Welcome to our text coverage
A good evening to you reading this as we prepare to watch and/or listen to President Yoweri Museveni address the nation tonight on the current status of Ebola in Uganda. His delivery will be broadcast over TV and radio.
If you won't be able to tune in, stick with us right here on this page for live text updates on Mr. President's address from Nakasero State Lodge in Kampala, originally scheduled to begin at 8pm. You can also watch the address on our online TVs HERE.
Oh, and don't forget to refresh this page for updates.