Rwanda reopens border with DR Congo – Officials

Goma: Rwanda, DR Congo border remains open. /Courtesy Photo
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Rwanda has reopened its border with DR Congo, which was temporarily closed in order sensitize people on signs and dangers of Ebola virus and measures to prevent themselves from being infected.

Rwanda had closed its Rubavu border for several hours after a third case of Ebola was reported in the border town of Goma, DR Congo.

The ministry of health now says that the border is open for travel as usual but warned against unnecessary travels.

Rwanda, which has been commended by the Word Health Organisation (WHO) on its Ebola preparedness efforts, has however been on a high alert since the first case of Ebola outbreak was reported in Goma last month.

In a statement yesterday, WHO Director-General Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said that the risk of the spread of the epidemic is high.

The population in Goma, he said, is highly mobile: “This is why we have been doing intensive preparedness work in Goma so that any new case is identified and responded to immediately,” he explained.

However, no case has been reported on Rwandan soil yet.

Africa Tembelea has also learnt that more than 1,600 people have died of Ebola in DR Congo since the outbreak began in August 2018.

Also Read: DR Congo Ebola epidemic spreads as second Goma patient dies, third case is confirmed

Last week, the WHO designated the outbreak of Ebola a global health emergency, its highest level of alarm, but warned against trying to contain the virus by closing borders or restricting travel or trade.

What is Ebola?

Ebola is a virus that initially causes sudden fever, intense weakness, muscle pain and a sore throat.

It progresses to vomiting, diarrhea, and both internal and external bleeding.

People are infected when they have direct contact through broken skin, or the mouth and nose, with the blood, vomit, faeces or bodily fluids of someone with Ebola.

Patients tend to die from dehydration and multiple organ failure.

Is there no vaccine?

Yes, there is. It is 99% effective and more than 161,000 people have received it.

However, not everybody is vaccinated – only those who come into direct contact with an Ebola patient, and people who come into contact with them. And some of those people refuse to take it.

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