Rwanda closes border to DRC as second Ebola death confirmed


    Rwanda has closed its borders to the neighbouring Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) after a second death linked to the Ebola virus was confirmed in the densely populated city of Goma.

    The World Health Organisation has declared the DRC outbreak a global health emergency and has recommended against travel and trade restrictions.

    It has also said that the regional spread of the virus is very high. To discuss the outbreak, Clement Manyathela on the Xolani Gwala Show chat to Africa Report Southern Africa editor Crystal Orderson.

    Closing the borders means that Rwandans are getting extremely concerned about the Ebola outbreak. We saw emergency scares in Uganda and in Goma which is very close to Rwanda.

    — Crystal Orderson, Southern Africa editor – Africa Report

    The number of Ebola outbreak cases in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) have reportedly reached the 2000 mark.

    The outbreak first began in the eastern parts of the country in August 2018.

    With people travelling around the continent, should South Africa be concerned about these rising numbers of Ebola infections in the DRC?

    The National Institute for Communicable Diseases deputy director Dr Lucille Bloomberg says South Africans have nothing to worry about as there are no direct flights from where the outbreak originated.

    Read: There’s an Ebola outbreak in the DRC and this is how doctors plan to contain it

    I think the chances are very low, we are quite far from the outbreak. It is in the North West and there is no trade in that area and I really think it is not a risk to South Africa.

    — Dr Lucille Bloomberg, Deputy director – National Institute for Communicable Diseases

    The outbreak has been going on for about a year now and there haven’t been any reported cases outside of the DRC.

    — Dr Lucille Bloomberg, Deputy director – National Institute for Communicable Diseases