Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni announced an immediate three-week lockdown in two districts as Ebola infections begin to rise again. The announcement on Saturday halted movement in and out of the Mubende and Kassanda districts, aside from cargo trucks, and imposed a curfew, CNN reports.
The latest outbreak was officially declared on Sept. 20 and has infected at least 58 people with 19 reported deaths, reports NPR. Authorities were reportedly not quick to recognize the outbreak which started in a farming community, calling it a "strange illness" back in August.
Museveni had originally spoken against a lockdown, arguing that the virus wasn't airborne like COVID-19 and therefore did not require the same stringent measures, BBC reports. However, due to the slow recognition of the disease, many of those infected left their hotspots trying to seek care elsewhere, leading to over 1,100 contacts of known Ebola patients.
The outbreak has also caused concern in the United States. Beginning on Oct. 6, all U.S.-bound passengers coming from Uganda were rerouted to just five airports where they were checked for symptoms, reports the Los Angeles Times. Currently, Ebola has no cure or vaccine. It is spread through bodily fluid contact and can cause fever, vomiting, diarrhea, muscle pain, and internal and external bleeding, NPR explains.
This is Uganda's fourth Ebola outbreak. "These are temporary measures to control the spread," Museveni said in a televised address. "We should all cooperate with authorities so we bring this outbreak to an end in the shortest possible time."