Uganda will be declared Ebola free on October 4, according to a statement made by the country’s ministry of health on Friday.
The director of general health services in Uganda, Dr. D.K. Lwamafa, stated that the country is now safe for all people, foreigners included, to travel in and out of Uganda, reports New Vision.
Lwamafa did assure that the country’s health services will continue to monitor communities, in order to prevent another outbreak. He stated:
“The surveillance team is currently stationed in Arua district to monitor the Ebola situation on the Congo side of the border.”
The World Health Organization’s surveillance criteria notes that an affected country is required to monitor the situation for 42 days after the last Ebola patient is discharged from the hospital, before they are allowed to declare the outbreak done.
Lwamafa added that there is no travel ban in any part of Uganda right now, even in Kibaale district, which was declared the epicentre of the outbreak.
The Daily Monitor notes that the declaration may be as soon as September 21, as long as no new Ebola cases are confirmed. District Health Officer, Dr Dan Kyamanywa, stated:
“Counting of the 21 days after the last positive patient was discharged will end on September 21.”
Two suspected cases that were admitted to Kagadi Hospital last ween have been tested negative. The two patients have been discharged after recovering from symptoms similar to those of Ebola. Dr. Kyamanywa added that, “Tests on their blood samples which were conducted at the Uganda Virus Research Institute were negative.”
While they wait for the all-clean announcement, medical officials will continue to conduct surveillance to detect any possible new cases.
Ebola was discovered in Uganda in late July. Since its detection, it has killed over 20 people and admitted more than 60 to the hospital.