Health officials and civic leaders have suspended operations of entertainment centres and banned crowded burials and wedding parties in Mubende District in a race to break the chain of Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) spread in the area.
This followed the confirmation on Tuesday that a 24-year-old man who passed on at Mubende Regional Referral Hospital on Monday had Ebola of Sudan strain.
Responders yesterday isolated 11, raising the number of confirmed and probable Ebola fatalities and infections to 18, according to a Health ministry update.
Dr Paul Batiibwe, the director of Mubende Regional Referral Hospital, confirmed that a woman, a resident of Ngabano in Madudu Sub-county, succumbed to EVD at the facility yesterday.
In Kampala, Ministry of Health Spokesman Emmanuel Ainebyoona said he had not received the report, but instead confirmed the death of a child linked to probable Ebola.
In Mubende, the district Ebola taskforce imposed restrictions on visits to public offices in measures that mirrored the standard operating procedures (SOPs) to stem the spread of Covid-19.
The Mubende Resident District Commissioner, Ms Rosemary Byabashaija, who also doubles as the head of the Ebola taskforce in Mubende, said allowing gatherings to continue would be risking people’s lives since the virus spreads rapidly through physical contact.
“Since Ebola is spread through body contacts and it can highly be spread in congested places, we have come to a decision to suspend entertainment places, congested places, limit number of people attending weddings and introductions,” she said.
The government announced that it had placed 11 people suspected to have Ebola, or got in touch with an Ebola victim, in isolation for monitoring and testing.
Epidemiologists on the ground are racing against time to trace dozens of contacts spread near and far after establishing that the first reported case of a person presenting with Ebola-like symptoms dying, was on September 1.
Four other members of the family of the deceased also died after showing similar symptoms, which included high fever, convulsions, blood-stained vomitus and diarrhoea, loss of appetite and pain in swallowing, chest pain, dry cough and bleeding in the eyes.
Because no autopsy was conducted to establish the cause of the deaths, officials worry that the disease is likely widely transmitted if the individuals were victims of Ebola whose symptoms take 2-21 days to show after infection.
Experts deployed by the government and the World Health Organisation (WHO) are scouring Mubende and neighbouring districts for information crucial in establishing the cause of the previous deaths and tracing contacts to the deceased.
RDC Byabashaija said they will not allow people to attend the burial of any person suspected to have died of Ebola.
“The burial committee will handle all the burials on behalf of the relatives,” she said.
She said they are setting up a camp in Madudu – the Sub-county with the most reported cases of suspected infections – that will be used as a quarantine centre to track contacts of the contacts.
Ms Byabashaija said they are currently having a limited manpower to help in the enforcement of their guidelines, but they will focus more on the epicentre.
Mubende Hospital Director, Dr Batiibwe, said they have mobilised health workers experienced in handling Ebola cases to lead the fight during the current resurgence.