Following the confirmation of 23 Ebola cases among students, including eight fatal cases, Uganda will close all of its schools later this month, the nation’s first lady announced on Tuesday.
Five schools in Kampala, the country’s capital, as well as the nearby Wakiso district and Mubende, the outbreak’s epicenter, according to Janet Museveni, who is also the minister of education.
She added that as of November 25, two weeks before the scheduled end of the term, pre-primary, primary, and secondary schools would be closed.
“Closing schools earlier will reduce areas of concentration where children are in daily close contact with fellow children, teachers and other staff who could potentially spread the virus,” said the minister and wife of veteran President Yoweri Museveni.
The two key districts at the center of the outbreak that has claimed more than 50 lives, Mubende and the neighboring Kassanda, were placed under a three-week lockdown on Saturday.
The measures include closing markets, pubs, and churches, enforcing a dusk-to-dawn curfew, and forbidding personal travel.
The disease has spread throughout East Africa, even to the country’s capital Kampala, since the epidemic was declared in Mubende on September 20.
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However, according to the president, there was no need for national limitations.
Out of 135 cases, 53 individuals have died from Ebola, according to government statistics dated November 6.
The World Health Organization (WHO) said last week that over 150 confirmed and probable cases, including 64 fatal cases, had been reported in Uganda.
The most recent Ebola-related fatality in Uganda happened in 2019.
There is currently no vaccine available for the Sudan Ebola virus strain that is currently in circulation, however there are many candidate vaccines that are moving into clinical trials.
The symptoms of Ebola, which is spread through bodily fluids, include fever, vomiting, bleeding, and diarrhea.
The difficulty of containing outbreaks increases in metropolitan settings.