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Friday, 24 November, 2000, 17:35 GMT
Ugandans deported in Ebola scare
Hospital ward for suspected Ebola cases
Cases are still being reported in Uganda
By Muliro Telewa in Nairobi

The authorities in Kenya have deported more than 100 Ugandans who were attending a seminar at a hotel in central Nairobi - on the grounds that they might be carrying the deadly Ebola virus.

More than 120 people have died in Uganda out of the 340 confirmed cases of Ebola, most of them in Gulu district.

The government stopped a peace meeting of Langi and Acholi tribesmen and ordered them out of the country after it was established that more than 60 of the 130 participants came from Uganda's Gulu district.

Kenya's minister for public health, Dr Amukoa Anangwe, ordered the meeting stopped on medical grounds.

He accused the organisers of the Kachoke Madit Conference of giving false information to public health officers to get the Gulu residents into the country.

Quarantined mother and child
Large numbers of people have been quarantined
During a news conference held at the hotel where the Ugandans were meeting, Dr Anangwe ordered the participants to leave.

Some were taken to the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport and others boarded two buses chartered by the Kenya government to take them back to Uganda.

The police provided escorts to the airport and to accompany the buses to the Ugandan border to ensure they all left Kenya.

Trouble started on Thursday when the Kenyan health authorities realised that the Ugandans had rescheduled their meeting from the Tanzanian capital Arusha to Nairobi.

Mr Anangwe said the group changed the venue after the Tanzanian authorities cancelled their meeting on health grounds.

No infection

He said the Kenyan doctors had examined the seminar participants and none of them had the disease, but precautions had to be taken.

Hotel employees who served the Ugandans are being kept under surveillance to ensure that they do not have the disease or pose a risk to the customers they serve.

Since the outbreak of Ebola in Gulu in September, Kenyan and Ugandan health officials have been co-operating in monitoring the disease.

Fourteen Kenyans are being held in seclusion in Busia District in Kenya after Ugandan police officers identified them as among Kenyans who went to Gulu to attend funerals of Ebola victims.

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See also:

23 Nov 00 | Africa
Ebola test for Uganda's wildlife
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Breakthrough on Ebola
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Ebola and other tropical viruses
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Africa's emerging virus threat
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