23 Oct 2014

Ebola Outbreak: Rwanda cancels Ebola screening for passengers arriving from U.S. and Spain

On Sunday, Rwanda, an East African nation far from the core of West Africa's Ebola outbreak, announced it would be screening passengers from America and Spain for Ebola.

For some observers, it seemed a remarkable act of schadenfreude. That an African nation (one free of Ebola) would impose restrictions from two Western nations (both with a handful of Ebola cases) seemed to mirror the Western ignorance about Africa and Ebola.



Notably, it came just a few days after a school in New Jersey kept home two exchange students from Rwanda due to concern over Ebola -- despite the fact that New Jersey is far closer to Texas, where two people contracted the virus, than Rwanda is to the Ebola-stricken nations of Liberia, Sierra Leone or Guinea.

However, after just four days, Rwanda is backtracking. Agnes Binagwaho, Rwanda's minister of health, used Twitter to reverse the decision and apologize:

@agnesbinagwaho: The MOH #Rwanda is removing special screening of travelers from US &Spain. apologies for any inconveniences caused by my decision... ...as Minister of Health, which was solely mine and not endorsed by the Government of #Rwanda
American and Spanish travelers are not the only ones who have faced restrictions. In August, Rwanda banned all travelers who had visited Guinea, Liberia or Sierra Leone in the 22 days preceding their travel. There is no word if this ban has been lifted.


Credit: Adam Taylor/Washington Post


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