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Rwanda shuts border with DR Congo over Ebola outbreak

Rwanda has now closed its border with DR Congo as it makes efforts to prevent any spread of Ebola into its territory.

This closure is coming after at least two people died from the virus in the eastern Congolese city of Goma, near the Rwandan border.

DR Congo’s presidency said on Thursday that Rwandan authorities closed the border between Goma and its nearest town of Gisenyi.

A statement from the Congolese presidency said “The Congolese authorities deplore this decision, which runs counter to the advice of the WHO (World Health Organisation)”.

Rwandan state minister for foreign affairs ministry, Olivier Nduhungirehe was quoted by Reuters as saying that “Yes it has been closed, but for details you can call immigration and ministry of health because it is about Ebola.”

A year ago DR Congo declared this current outbreak which has now become its worst outbreak, with more than 1,800 people dead and over 2,700 infected.

Many countries closer to DR Congo have been rolling out measures to prevent the spread of the disease.

The WHO last month declared the current Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of Congo a public health emergency of international concern.

The W.H.O defines Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC) as, “an extraordinary event which is determined to constitute a public health risk to other States through the international spread of disease and to potentially require a coordinated international response”.

The W.H.O in a statement “cited recent developments in the outbreak in making its recommendation, including the first confirmed case in Goma, a city of almost two million people on the border with Rwanda, and the gateway to the rest of DRC and the world.”

Last week DR Congo officials said some patients being treated escaped from treatment centres.


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