Rwanda closes border with DRC over deadly Ebola outbreak

It follows second Ebola death in densely populated city of Goma, on Rwandan border

Congolese customs agents at the border with Rwanda, in Goma, on Thursday. Photograph: STRINGER/Reuters

Rwanda has closed its border with the Democratic Republic of Congo, where a deadly Ebola outbreak that started a year ago has killed more than 1,803 people.

The closure came after a second death linked to the Ebola virus was confirmed on Wednesday in the densely populated Congolese city of Goma, which is on the porous border with Rwanda.

The World Health Organization, which declared the DRC outbreak a global health emergency last month, has recommended against travel or trade restrictions. It has also said the risk of regional spread was “very high”.

The DRC presidency’s office said it regretted what it described as a unilateral decision by the Rwandan authorities to restrict movement at the border, “which runs counter to the advice of the World Health Organization”.

Earlier on Thursday, a DRC official said the one-year-old daughter of the man who did on Wednesday was at a treatment centre after showing signs of the disease. He had spent several days at home with his family while showing symptoms.

If this suspected case is confirmed, it could be the first transmission of Ebola in this outbreak inside Goma, a city of more than 2 million people and a major transport hub that shares the border with the Rwandan city of Gisenyi, which has a population of more than 85,000.

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