Mubende MPs Petition Prime Minister Over Ebola Restrictions

A section of Members of Parliament from Mubende district have sought for the provision of relief to people whose businesses have been affected by the lockdown occasioned by the Ebola outbreak. 

The MPs including Mubende Municipality representative Bashir Lubega Sempa, Buweekula County’s Pascal Mbabazi and his counterpart from Buweekula South William Museveni on Monday petitioned the office of Prime Minister. 

“In an urban and semi-urban setting like ours, this matter needs to be accorded the urgency it deserves, to avoid the situation to degenerate into crime. This is exacerbated by the fact that our people had a very bad harvest the preceding season,” reads part of their petition to the Prime Minister Robinah Nabbanja. 

On Saturday, President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni through his televised address issued directives restricting movements in and out of the Mubende and Kassanda districts for 21 days to mitigate the spread of Ebola Virus Disease (EVD).  

The President instituted a nighttime curfew suspending movement between 7 pm to 6 am as well as the movement of boda bodas, public and private transport vehicles except for cargo vehicles delivering supplies, Ministry of Health vehicles, authorized government vehicles and security vehicles. These vehicles are also barred from carrying passengers. Also suspended are all seasonal markets, worship places, and social places like bars and gyms.

The President said that these restrictions start with immediate effect and authorities in the two districts have since started enforcing the restrictions by deploying on the major roads connecting with other districts as well as inter-routes.  

However, the MPs appeal that some of the restrictions are relaxed. They seek that boda bodas are allowed to carry cargo, as it was the case during the COVID-19 lockdown to enable this section of their community earn a living.

“We do support the President’s effort to have Ebola contained but restrictions should be imposed in a humane way to avoid further traumatizing the people considering that out country is emerging from an economic melt-down and our people are just recovering from COVID-19 pandemic,” the MPs argue.

The MPs also want boda bodas which were impounded on day the President issued restrictions and those arrested without ample notice be released unconditionally.

Government confirmed the outbreak of the Ebola Sudan variant on 20th September, 2022 in Mubende District and as of 16th October, 2022, the Ministry of Health had confirmed 60 cases of Ebola out of which, 24 people recovered, 11 currently on admission while 25 died. 

Ebola can be transmitted from one person to other through exposure to liquids from the affected person. Some of the symptoms of the virus include headache, fever, diarrhoea, and unexpected bleeding from body openings like the nose and the mouth.

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