President Yoweri Museveni has allayed fears of a lockdown over the Ebola Virus Disease break out in the country.
“Regarding the Ebola situation, there will be no lockdown. Therefore, people should go ahead and concentrate on their work without worry,” Museveni said during a Diwali Festival evening he hosted for the Indian community at State House in Entebbe.
After cases of Ebola were reported in Kampala, there were fears of a lockdown as the epicenter districts of the epidermic – Mudende and Kassanda had been placed under lockdown for a 21-day period in mid-October.
Museveni made the reassurance following remarks business magnate Sudhir Ruparelia who said that following the Covid-19 lockdown, an Ebola lockdown would be devasting to the business community in the country.
“We have had different people from the Ministry of Health making different kinds of statements in the public domain, threatening a lockdown. It is causing lots of negative effects in the hotel industries, schools and other sectors of business. Already millions of dollars have been lost,” Sudhir said.
“We are just coming out of Covid and we are suffering heavy commodity prices, supply chain and shipping costs and on top of this we have issues of Ukraine that raised energy prices worldwide and brought uncertainty. We fear a lockdown and the effects it will cause but we leave it to your wisdom to help us go through it in the best way possible,” Sudhir said.
Museveni gave reassurances that there will be no Ebola lockdown. However, he cautioned the public to be more vigilant and observe the SOPs put in place to control the spread of the disease.
“Just wave, don’t shake hands. Avoid human contact,” he said.
“Ebola is not very serious like Corona because Corona was infecting through the air, through breathing; very dangerous. You sit in a bus, a church in an office near one another, you are infected. But with Ebola you only get infected by not only touching, but touching intimately; closely, not just casually. Even if someone with Ebola touches your skin, it will not enter your body. It enters through the soft parts of the body. The eyes, the mouth, the sexual organs and so on,” he said.
The first case of Ebola was reported on September 19. The case fatality ratio so far is 38 per cent with 48 out of 131 cases succumbing to the disease.