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Monday, March 20, 2023

Government May Ban Christmas Travels Due to Ebola

The Minister of Health, Dr Jane Ruth Aceng, has warned that the government may be forced to ban travelling upcountry for Christmas should the Ebola cases increase.

Dr Aceng said her ministry is closely monitoring the Ebola infection rates and that at an appropriate time, they will advise on whether it is prudent to ban the public from travelling upcountry for Christmas.

“We are moving into a festive season. All of you know what happens during the festive season, you see how vehicles move. Ebola moves by foot, road, buses whatever, any means of transport, and Ebola moves with it. So as we move towards the festive season, Ebola will move from wherever it is,” Dr Aceng said

Dr Aceng said this while meeting media editors of selected media houses in Kampala last Friday.

She confirmed that the ministry is continuing to watch the evolution of the epidemic. When you hear us saying, please don’t go to your homes for Christmas, stand with us because if Ebola is taken to your grandparents.

“It’s not that we’re saying we are going to do that, we are watching evolution, so don’t misquote me. We are watching, every day, that is why we give statistics.” She said.

Dr Aceng appealed to the editors to ensure that correct information is reported to the public. She warned that once wrong information is published, the country could be put under lockdown.

“Right now, we seem to be making headway in Mubende and Kassanda in spite of some wrong messages because wrong messages when propagated, the population believes it,” the minister said.

“To us, the lockdown is not important, the most important thing is life. We might lose lives. That is why we humbly request for correct reporting. When you tell the truth, the population will say there’s actually Ebola,” she added.

The meeting was organized by African Centre for Media Excellence (ACME) to equip editors with basic information on the Ebola virus to enable accurate, responsible, and ethical reporting on the outbreak; to curb the spread of fake news and misinformation.

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