Rwanda reopens border with Congo after global criticism

Rwanda reopens border with Congo after global criticism

Rwanda reopens border with Congo after global criticism

This has become the second-deadliest Ebola outbreak in history, with more than 1,700 people killed despite the widespread use of an experimental but effective Ebola vaccine.

August 1: Congo officials say the victim's wife and 1-year-old daughter test positive for Ebola, the first transmission of the virus in Goma.

KIGALI/GOMA, Democratic Republic of Congo (Reuters) - Rwanda's border with Ebola-hit Democratic Republic of Congo was fully open late on Thursday, a minister said, hours after Congolese traders had reported it shut following a third case of the disease in the Congolese border city of Goma.

December 26: Congo bars people in key Ebola-affected areas from voting in the presidential election, sparking anger and feeding rumours that the outbreak is a political ploy.

The World Health Organisation (WHO), which declared the DRC outbreak a global health emergency in July, has recommended against travel or trade restrictions.

To mark Thursday's first anniversary of the current outbreak being declared, United Nations agencies issued a joint statement on Wednesday, saying there have been more than 2,600 confirmed cases, including more than 1,800 deaths, in parts of DRC's Ituri and North Kivu provinces.

Claudine Uwitonze, who works in both the Rwandan city of Gisenyi and in Goma, said: "I'm so shocked now because my life depends on DR Congo".

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Two of the three cases in Goma have died, sparking a race to find people who have had contact with these patients. More than 1,600 people have died since the outbreak began.

Until now, the virus has been mostly confined to more remote areas, mostly around Beni and Butembo, to the north of Goma.

The miner came from the north-eastern province of Ituri and had been admitted to a health centre in Kiziba, on the outskirts of Goma, on 13 July. He tested positive for Ebola on Tuesday and died on Wednesday morning.

"He was in the community symptomatic for a good period of time, for much longer than we want to see people out there", Harris said.

In an urban setting, density of population, anonymity and high mobility make it far harder to isolate patients and trace contacts compared to the countryside.

The escalating crisis has led to a row within the DRC's health ministry, which is co-ordinating national efforts to contain the spread of the virus. And some of those people refuse to take it.

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