DRC sees first case of Ebola in Goma, near Rwanda border

The Democratic Republic of Congo has reported its first case of Ebola in the eastern city of Goma. The presence of the virus has raised concerns of an outbreak in the densely populated area along the Rwandan border.


The Congolese Health Ministry on Sunday confirmed the first reported case of the Ebola virus in Goma, a city of roughly 1 million people.

The DRC is in the midst of an Ebola outbreak that began last August and has already become the second-deadliest in the country’s history, infecting nearly 2 500 people and killing more than 1 600. The regional capital of Goma, which borders Rwanda, has been preparing for Ebola’s possible arrival for months, setting up hand-washing stations and instructing mototaxi drivers not to share helmets.

Spreading south

The outbreak that began last year originated more than 350 kilometres north of Goma, but the virus has been gradually moving south. Health officials have had difficulty containing Ebola in the country’s more rural areas, where regional violence and a distrust of authorities has made work particularly difficult.

The infected individual with the case reported on Sunday contracted the virus in Butembo, 200 kilometres to the north, where he interacted with Ebola patients. He developed symptoms last week before taking a bus to Goma. He then went to a clinic in the city and tested positive for Ebola.


“Due to the speed with which the patient has been identified and isolated, as well as the identification of all bus passengers from Butembo, the risk of spreading to the rest of the city of Goma remains low,” the Congolese Health Ministry said.

Ebola causes hemorrhagic fever, diarrhea and vomiting. An outbreak of the virus in West Africa between 2013 and 2016 killed more than 11 000 people. — Deutsche Welle

Subscribe to the M&G

These are unprecedented times, and the role of media to tell and record the story of South Africa as it develops is more important than ever.

The Mail & Guardian is a proud news publisher with roots stretching back 35 years, and we’ve survived right from day one thanks to the support of readers who value fiercely independent journalism that is beholden to no-one. To help us continue for another 35 future years with the same proud values, please consider taking out a subscription.

Deutsche Welle 1
Guest Author

Related stories

Exclusive: Top-secret testimonies implicate Rwanda’s president in war crimes

Explosive witness testimony from the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda implicates Paul Kagame and the RPF in mass killings before, during and after the 1994 genocide.

Is a wealth tax the answer?

More wealth taxes may soon be a reality for east African countries in the wake of Covid-19

Why we must fight to secure places for more women and young people in politics

Too often, governments talk the talk on gender equality, but fail to walk the walk

Women accuse aid workers of sexual abuse during the DRC’s Ebola crisis

More than 50 women have accused Ebola aid workers from the World Health Organisation...

Why do presidents cling to power?

Four former heads of state speak about what being president is actually like

African governments and the Covid-19 fallout

The “Covid-19 Kairos” has provided governments with the opportunity to leverage the pandemic to create comprehensive sustainable economic development policies for all Africans
Advertising

Subscribers only

Q&A Sessions: Frank Chikane on the rainbow where colours never...

Reverend Frank Chikane has just completed six years as the chairperson of the Kagiso Trust. He speaks about corruption, his children’s views and how churches can be mobilised

ANC: ‘We’re operating under conditions of anarchy’

In its latest policy documents, the ANC is self-critical and wants ‘consequence management’, yet it’s letting its members off the hook again

More top stories

‘Where the governments see statistics, I see the faces of...

Yvette Raphael describes herself as a ‘professional protester, sjambok feminist and hater of trash’. Government officials would likely refer to her as ‘a rebel’. She’s fought for equality her entire life, she says. And she’s scared of no one

Covid-19 stems ‘white’ gold rush

The pandemic hit abalone farmers fast and hard. Prices have dropped and backers appear to be losing their appetite for investing in the delicacy

Al-Shabab’s terror in Mozambique

Amid reports of brutal, indiscriminate slaughter, civilians bear the brunt as villages are abandoned and the number of refugees nears half a million

South Africa’s cities opt for clean energy

Efforts to reduce carbon emissions will hinge on the transport sector
Advertising

press releases

Loading latest Press Releases…