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Ruwanda: Govt introduces screening at borders in response to Ebola outbreak in DRC

The Ministry of Health has begun screening for temperature at all border posts with DR Congo in Rubavu and Rusizi districts in response to Ebola outbreak in the neighbouring country’s northern region.

The screening uses non-contact infrared laser thermometers, according to a statement by the ministry.

The border points are estimated to have between 40,000 and 45,000 people crossing daily.

Ebola has so far claimed two lives in northern DR Congo, according to the World Health Organisation, while 29 people are suspected to have the virus.

Congolese health officials and their partners are also monitoring about 400 people who could have come into contact with the suspected cases.

In a statement, Health minister Diane Gashumba said all travellers to Rwanda from DR Congo with fever will not be allowed to enter the country, while those who have been in the Bas Uele Province within the last 22 days will be stopped from boarding flights to Rwanda.

In readiness to detect any Ebola cases, the Kigali International Airport will continue the fever screening using a heat scan machine.

The ministry said this is in compliance with international standards.

The ministry reassured the general public that there has been no case of the deadly haemorrhaghic fever in the country but called on everyone to remain vigilant and report any suspected case to the nearest health facility.

“The Ministry of Health wishes to re-assure the public that, in collaboration with other partners, we are closely following up the situation and will adjust the current preventive measures based on progress of the outbreak in DR Congo and the public health threats to Rwanda,” Dr Gashumba said in the statement.

“Since WHO declaration on May 12, Rwanda preparedness plan is built on four pillars; coordination, enhanced surveillance, response and communication.”

Among the measures taken by the government is to train health professionals and other front-liners with Ebola outbreak management and control skills.

The ministry has also urged the public to take basic precautions against the haemorrhagic fever such as avoiding unnecessary travel to the affected area as well as close contact with Ebola cases or a person who has died from Ebola.

The ministry has also urged the public to report any case of Ebola hemorrhagic fever signs or symptoms to the nearest health facility.

Other basic precautions include regularly washing hands using clean water and soap.

©Alleastafrica and The New Times

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