Uganda to close schools early after eight children die of Ebola | Health news
The Minister of Education says that the government has decided to close preschool, primary and secondary schools from November 25.
Schools in Uganda will be closed after the 23rd, two weeks before the end of the term Ebola cases confirmed among students, including eight children who died.
Education Minister Janet Kataha Museveni said on Tuesday that the cabinet had decided to close pre-primary, primary and secondary schools on November 25 because overcrowded classrooms made students vulnerable to infection.
“Earlier school closures will reduce areas of concentration where children are in close daily contact with friends, teachers and other staff who can spread the virus,” the minister, who is also the wife of longtime president Yoweri Museveni, said in a statement. .
Ugandan students are currently in the third and final semester of the calendar year.
On Saturday, the government extended a three-week lockdown in the neighboring districts of Mubende and Kasanda, which have been the epicenter of the Ebola outbreak.
The measures include a dusk-to-dawn curfew, a ban on private travel and the closure of markets, bars and churches.
Since the outbreak was declared in Mubende on September 20, the disease has spread across the country, including the capital Kampala, but the president said nationwide restrictions were not necessary.
According to Sunday’s government data, 135 people were infected with Ebola, 53 died.
Last week, the World Health Organization (WHO) said Uganda had more than 150 confirmed and probable cases, including 64 deaths. The last recorded death in Uganda from a previous Ebola outbreak was in 2019.
The virus circulating in Uganda is the Sudanese strain of Ebola, for which there is no proven vaccine, unlike the more common Zaire strain that has spread in recent outbreaks in the neighboring Democratic Republic of Congo.
Ebola is spread through bodily fluids, with common symptoms including fever, vomiting, bleeding, and diarrhea.
Outbreaks are difficult to contain, especially in urban environments. Ebola generally kills about half of the people it infects.
WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said in mid-October that clinical trials of vaccines to fight the Sudanese strain of Ebola could begin within weeks.
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