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Uganda declares lockdown as Ebola cases rise

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Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni has declared an immediate three-week lockdown in two high-risk districts as the country battles a rise in Ebola infections.

President Yoweri introduced the lockdown for the two districts worst affected by the killer virus, where dozens have already been infected and nearly 20 patients have died.

There is now an overnight curfew, while bars, restaurants, entertainment venues, and places of worship have been closed in Mubende and Kassanda.

Curfews will also be imposed. Places of worship, bars, gyms, saunas and other entertainment venues will close but schools will remain open, he added.

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“Given the gravity of the problem and to prevent further spread and protect lives and livelihoods, the government is taking extra measures that require action from all of us,” Museveni said.

The Ugandan health ministry will also increase contact tracing and assistance to local health facilities.

Speaking at a media briefing earlier this month, World Health Organization Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said the vaccines used successfully to curb recent Ebola outbreaks in the Democratic Republic of the Congo are not effective against the type of Ebola virus now circulating in Uganda.

“However, several vaccines are in various stages of development against this virus, two of which could begin clinical trials in Uganda in the coming weeks, pending regulatory and ethics approvals from the Ugandan government,” said Tedros.

So far, Uganda has experienced four Ebola outbreaks. The deadliest left more than 200 people dead in 2000.

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