Uganda announces lockdown as Ebola cases rise Published duration 20 March 2018
image copyright Reuters image caption The government has said it has no plans to reintroduce vaccinations against the Ebola virus
The World Health Organization (WHO) says the country of Uganda has reported three cases of Ebola in recent days.
There are seven confirmed cases of the virus in the country, which has one of the highest concentrations of HIV in sub-Saharan Africa.
The outbreak in Uganda follows a similar outbreak of Ebola in the neighbouring Democratic Republic of Congo.
On Friday, the WHO declared the Democratic Republic of Congo was “on the brink” of an outbreak that could overwhelm its health services.
The news has sparked fears of an Ebola relapse because of the current outbreak in Uganda.
In a statement released on its website, Uganda’s government said: “We have made all the preparations necessary to deal with an outbreak such as this and are ready.
“We have taken a precautionary measure by cancelling the scheduled immunisation meeting of students and others who will be exposed to Ebola virus.”
The announcement comes after the Ugandan ministry of health said it was increasing the number of people who would be evacuated from the affected areas while there is still time.
Uganda has a population of almost 40 million people, with over 60% of the population living below $1 a day (20p).
The country’s poverty is particularly acute in a region bordering the Democratic Republic of Congo where three of the deadliest Ebola outbreaks in history took place.
The country of Uganda was declared Ebola-free in August 2014.
Ebola was first discovered in 1976 in the Democratic Republic of Congo, which has one of the largest populations in sub-Saharan Africa.