KIGALI - Rwanda will maintain the red alert issued on Ebola two months ago irrespective of DR Congo’s declaration on Monday that the deadly haemorrhagic fever has been contained and wiped out.
The State Minister in-charge of HIV/Aids and other Infectious Diseases, Dr Innocent Nyaruhirira, said yesterday that preventive measures, announced since the viral disease broke out in eastern DRC in September, are still in place.
“We can’t just accept such declaration without confirmation from the World Health Organisation (WHO),” Dr Nyaruhirira said Some of the control measures government announced include screening of travellers from DRC at various entry border posts into Rwanda.
On Monday, DRC and WHO officials declared that the outbreak associated with haemorrhagic fever is no more there.
However, Dr Nyaruhirira said the government is still up with restrictions on those who enter into Congo and those from there especially the affected areas of Western Kasai province.
The disease is believed to have killed up to 187 people over eight months. Congo’s Health ministry and the WHO said that a 42-day period after the last death of Ebola victim elapsed on November 13.
Officials explained that it was standard practice to wait 42 days twice Ebola’s maximum incubation period before announcing the end of an outbreak.
“In view of the positive results attained, it is my duty to announce today the end of the Ebola epidemic,” DRC Health minister Victor Makwenge Kaput was quoted by Reuters as saying.
People began falling ill in April in the village of Kampungu in Congo’s eastern province of Kasai with Ebola-like symptoms, including fever and muscle pain, followed by vomiting, diarrhoea and internal haemorrhaging.