Uganda President Yoweri Museveni on Saturday announced a three-week extension of the Ebola-triggered lockdown in the two districts that was first announced in October amidst rising cases of Ebola and deaths.
"Many of us are farmers; our beans are rotting from the gardens because we cannot move to our gardens which are far. The government should lift the lockdown so that people can go back to work," Angella Nakasi, a resident of Mubende, told VOA.
Nakasi said she has failed to get food from her garden, which is about three kilometers (1.87 miles) from her home.
Before the lockdown, she says she was using a commercial motorcycle – commonly known as bodaboda – to get the food, but with the transport ban, she has no other means.
Ivan Kiggundu, a taxi operator in Mubende, questioned the continued lockdowns despite a major reduction in cases.
"We have tried all our level best to sensitize our people about Ebola. We have managed to fight it. We so far have just one patient who is with Ebola within a month," Kiggundu told VOA.
Phoebe Namulindwa, Kassanda district resident commissioner, says security personnel will continue enforcing the lockdown until it’s fully lifted.
"We have bodaboda men that don’t listen, and a number of motorcycles have been impounded, and we told them that this time ‘round, we are not releasing any motorcycle until the 21 days are over."
The Ugandan Ministry of Health says the lockdown is critical to help ensure that all contacts of Ebola cases are fully followed up.
Dr. Daniel Kyabayinze, director of Public Health in the Ministry of Health, says the mini lockdown has been successful in scaling down Ebola.
The lockdown has suspended seasonal markets, while places of worship and social places like bars and gyms have been closed in Mubende and Kassanda districts.
"We think this is the best approach to manage outbreaks when people do not follow all the regulations. In the last 15 days we have no new case, and in the last 15 days we have had no loss of life," Dr. Kyabayinze told VOA.
Since the outbreak was confirmed in September, Uganda has had 142 confirmed Ebola cases with 56 deaths and 80 recoveries.
Kasanda district resident Hassan Bigirwa wants government to support them with basic needs.
"We need food, we need medical care, we need all these social amenities to be catered for by government," Bigirwa said.