Following the MTN Kampala Marathon 2022, dubbed “Run for Babies,” held on Sunday morning, November 20, 2022, a section of opposition leaders have attacked the Ministry of Health for allowing thousands of people to gather in one place while we still have Ebola virus disease in the country.
The Ministry of Health refuted the claim on Monday, November 21st, 2022, claiming that Ebola does not spread through the air but rather through symptomatic Ebola patients, none of whom showed up to run.
“Ebola is not spread through the air; it is spread by the symptomatic Ebola patients. We had no symptomatic patients that turned up to run,” Dr. Diana Atwine, the MOH Permanent Secretary, said.
She added that they were guided by science in every decision that was made at the event.
In a statement from the Ministry Spokesperson Emmanuel Ainebyoona dated November 21, 2022, it was indicated that clearing and authorizing the MTN 2022 Marathon was after consultations with technical officers who assessed that the event posed no risk of Ebola transmission among the participants.
He added that, 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 symptom,” Ainebyoona added.
He also noted that the Kampala Metropolitan Area has not registered cases beyond those that were under quarantine, despite having been contacted by confirmed cases recorded in Kampala.
The Epi Center districts of Mubende and Kasanda remain under restrictions on movement to prevent the exportation of the Ebola virus to other parts of the country.