Uganda has declared the end of the deadly Ebola virus outbreak that struck four months ago and has claimed the lives of 56 people.
Speaking at a ceremony in the central district of Mubende where the disease was first detected in September Health Minister Jane Ruth Aceng said that the country had controlled the outbreak.
The move was confirmed in a statement issued by the World Health Organisation (WHO), whose chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus hailed the East African country’s “robust and comprehensive response” to the widely-feared haemorrhagic fever.
Aceng said today marked 113 days since the start of the epidemic, which also spread to the capital Kampala.
According to WHO, an outbreak of a disease officially ends when there are no new cases for 42 consecutive days.
“Uganda put a swift end to the Ebola outbreak by ramping up key control measures such as surveillance, contact tracing and infection, prevention and control,” read the statement.
“While we expanded our efforts to put a strong response in place across the nine affected districts, the magic bullet has been our communities who understood the importance of doing what was needed to end the outbreak, and took action.”
Mubende and Kassanda were declared the epicenter of the virus and were placed under lockdown for two months until mid-December.
WHO noted that there had been 142 confirmed cases, 55 confirmed deaths and 87 recovered patients.