Ebola Outbreak: Rwanda Closes Border with DRC after 1803 Deaths
By Staff, Agencies
Rwanda closed its border with the Democratic Republic of Congo, where a deadly Ebola outbreak that started a year ago has killed more than 1,803 people.
The closure came after a second death linked to the Ebola virus was confirmed in the densely populated Congolese city of Goma, which is on the porous border with Rwanda.
The World Health Organization, which declared the DRC outbreak a global health emergency last month, recommended against travel or trade restrictions. It has also said the risk of regional spread is “very high”.
The DRC presidency’s office said it regretted what it described as a unilateral decision by the Rwandan authorities to restrict movement at the border, “which runs counter to the advice of the World Health Organization”.
Earlier on Thursday, a DRC official said a person who had had contact with the second confirmed Ebola case in Goma was at a treatment center after showing signs of the disease.
It was not immediately clear whether the person was a family member of the man who died on Wednesday. He had spent several days at home with his family while showing symptoms.
If this suspected case is confirmed, it could be the first transmission of Ebola in this outbreak inside Goma, a city of more than 2 million people.
The escalating crisis has led to a row within the DRC’s health ministry, which is coordinating national efforts to contain the spread of the virus.
Ebola vaccines are difficult to develop because they have to be tested during outbreaks.