Due to the increasing spread of the Ebola epidemic in the Congo, Rwanda has closed the border with the neighboring country. That said Olivier Nduhungirehe, Secretary of State in the Rwandan Foreign Ministry, the news agency AP. Rwanda reacted to Ebola cases in the border town of Goma, where around two million people live.
In the Congolese megacity, a third case of the deadly disease was recorded Wednesday, just hours after a second patient died of the virus. The city near the Rwandan border is densely populated and an important transportation hub in Africa. Aruna Abedi, who coordinates the fight against the disease, said that the one-year-old daughter of the deceased man also showed symptoms of Ebola. If confirmed that she was infected, it would be the first direct transmission in the metropolis.
The Ebola epidemic has been rampant for one year, especially in eastern Congo. On August 1, 2018, the authorities in North Kivu province reported the first cases. Since then more than 1,700 people have died. It is thus the Ebola outbreak with the second highest number of victims after that in several West African countries from 2014 to 2016.
"This is not a dying house"
The authorities called on the population not to hide suspected cases of Ebola, but to report immediately: "The Ebola treatment center is not a death home, the sick must be brought here in time," said coordinator Abedi.
The World Health Organization (WHO) had classified the Ebola epidemic in Congo as an international health emergency after the first case in Goma became known in mid-July. The WHO warned against the spread of Ebola to other countries in the region, but at the same time recommended that no travel restrictions be introduced. Only on Wednesday had the health organization praised several African states for keeping their borders open.