KAMPALA, Uganda (HPD) — Ugandan authorities imposed a travel ban on two Ebola-hit districts Saturday as part of their efforts to prevent the spread of the contagious disease.
The measures announced by President Yoweri Museveni prevent residents of the central districts of Mubende and Kassana from entering or leaving those areas. Freight vehicles and others transiting from Kampala, the capital, to the country’s southwest can continue to operate, the president said.
All entertainment sites, including bars, as well as religious temples, will have to close their doors and all burials in those districts will have to be supervised by health authorities, the president added. In addition, a curfew was established. The restrictions will last at least 21 days.
“These are temporary measures to control the spread of Ebola,” Museveni said.
Ebola has infected 58 people in the African country since September 20, when authorities declared the outbreak. At least 19 people have died, including four health workers. Authorities did not quickly detect the outbreak, which began infecting the population of a farming community in August as “the strange disease” described by local authorities.
The new measures come amid fears that some patients in Ebola hotspots could try to slip away to seek treatment elsewhere – as did a man who fled Mubende and died in a hospital in Kampala this month, alerting health authorities.
The Ugandan government has documented more than 1,100 contacts of known Ebola patients, according to the Africa Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The Sudanese variant of Ebola, for which there is no vaccine, is circulating in the country of 45 million people.