The Ministry of Health has stated that the recently concluded MTN Marathon was “not an Ebola super spreader”.
MTN Uganda over the weekend held its annual MTN Marathon in Kampala which drew thousands.
This stirred an uproar from a section of the public claiming that the ministry allowed crowds to converge yet schools have been told to close early by two weeks due to the Ebola Virus.
In a Monday statement, the ministry said, unlike COVID-19, the risk of Ebola transmission and spread is highest when patients are symptomatic.
“Attention has been drawn to various social media posts highlighting that the MTN 2022 Marathon held in Kampala is an ‘Ebola super spreader’ event. The Ministry of Health would like to categorically state as follows; Unlike COVID-19, the risk of Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) transmission and spread is highest when people are symptomatic (presenting with signs and symptoms). With the screening measures in place at the MTN Kampala Marathon, no participant presented with any other symptoms. Furthermore, symptomatic EVD patients can barely engage in rigorous activities like running and aerobics,” reads the statement.
The ministry added that following consultation with the technical officers, it cleared and authorized the MTN 2022 Marathon after assessing that the event posed no risk of Ebola transmission among the participants.
“Kampala Metropolitan Area has not registered cases beyond those that were under quarantine, having been contacts to confirmed cases recorded in Kampala. It is important to note that isolating contacts early before they manifest the disease ably curbs the transmission. This has worked well for Kampala alongside other measures like active surveillance,” it added.
The epicentre districts of Mubende and Kasanda remain under restricted movement to prevent the exportation of the Ebola virus to other parts of the country.
The ministry said that these restrictions in movements are continuously reviewed based on the epidemiological trends and risk of transmission.