Uganda’s President Yoweri Museveni has assured foreign visitors that the Ebola outbreak in the East African nation will be brought under control.
In an address to the country on Tuesday, the president noted that foreign tourists were cancelling bookings and international conferences had been cancelled or moved to other countries.
He said the epidemic was localised – with active cases in just six out of 146 districts across the country.
“Uganda is safe and international guests are welcome,” he added.
He said that a list of people exposed to the virus had been provided to immigration authorities to prevent them from international travel.
Some 141 cases with 55 deaths have been recorded since the outbreak was confirmed in September.
The president said that progress had been made in controlling the epidemic.
For 18 days, there had been no confirmed cases in Mubende district, the epicentre of the outbreak, although one case was reported on Monday, according to health officials.
Mr Museveni said that efforts to control the epidemic were being hampered by some members of the public who were refusing to adhere to health restrictions.
Motorcycle taxis, known as boda boda, were defying lockdown rules in the affected areas and transporting passengers instead of only cargo.
In Kassanda district, 10 members of an extended family died of Ebola after exhuming a body interred by official burial teams and reburied it according to their religious beliefs.
In Kampala, two contacts linked to separate cases escaped from facilities – one to Masaka city and another to Jinja city – and both have since died.
Even though the epidemic has spread to districts far from the epicentre in the central region, Ugandan officials seem confident that the outbreak can be controlled before it spreads.