Mubende, Kassanda get early Christmas after lockdown ends

A section of the Ebola treatment unit in Mubende Municipality. PHOTO/DAN WANDERA

What you need to know:

  • Leaders lauded residents for their patience and maintaining health guidelines.

Leaders and residents in Mubende and Kassanda districts can now breathe a sigh of relief after the government lifted the 63-day lockdown and night curfew restrictions instituted to curb the spread of  Ebola Sudan virus.
While a section of leaders believe the lifting of the lockdown was overdue after both districts spent more than 30 days without a single new case registered, traders anticipate to tap into the December sales to make profits Mr Michael Ntambi, the Mubende chairperson, yesterday said residents have had to endure great pain after missing some of the key services in their daily lives.

“The lifting of the lockdown is a great relief for us. We have had no direct answers to the many questions posed by residents that had lost patience. Our answer was in the last word from the President. We thank God for the good news,” Mr Ntambi said.
Some residents spent Saturday night in bars and night clubs to celebrate the lifting of the lockdown.
Ms Suzan Ssendagire, a resident of West Division in Mubende Municipality, said she was ready to resume business.
“We shall pick from where our family business closed in the second week of October when the Ebola lockdown was announced. We are all healthy and hope to get through the Christmas and New Year festivities peacefully after the end to the miserable 63 days of the lockdown,” Ms Ssendagire said Ms Rosemary Byabashaija, the Mubende Resident District Commissioner, said lifting of the lockdown was a big relief to the locals.

“I thank the people of Mubende for maintaining the health guidelines issued by the Ministry of Health and the patience exhibited as we waited for the message from the government about the lifting of the lockdown.
“It is good that we have no new cases and are now focused on the day Mubende will be declared Ebola virus-free. I also caution our people about relaxing and forgetting the health guidelines,” she said.
In his message read by the Vice President, Ms Jessica Alupo, Mr Museveni revealed that the lockdown and night curfew restrictions coupled with other health guidelines had slowed down the transmission of the Ebola virus and preserved the economy that had suffered as a result of the protracted Covid-19 pandemic.

“Though we have registered great success in the containment of this pandemic, I have been told that we have 24 days to complete the 42-days which are two incubation cycles to give us an assurance that the outbreak is under control,” Museveni said.
The Ebola Sudan virus was declared on September 20 and there were 142 confirmed cumulative cases by December 17 while the cumulative deaths were 56 cases. The recoveries are 87 while the fatality rate stands at 35 percent, according to the Ministry of Health statistics.
Mubende has registered 29 deaths, while Kassanda registered 21 deaths.

Kassanda leaders speak out
The Kassanda District chairperson, Mr Fred Kasirye, said lifting of the lockdown was overdue and it had  escalated domestic violence, among many other challenges. “Our leaders need to face the reality and always weigh the situation wisely. Many residents have been struggling with hunger and the continued denial of several basic needs. It is good that Kassanda residents are finally free to move and get the basics,” he said. But Ms Phoebe Namulindwa, the Kassanda RDC, said the guidelines ensured that no new cases got registered. “The rate at which the Ebola virus was spreading was a big worry. We were able to contain the spread because of the strict guidelines,” she said.