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Monday, January 20, 2020

Rwanda border with Congo reopened after shutdown

Rwanda has reopened its border with the Democratic Republic of Congo, where an Ebola outbreak has killed more than 1,800 people in the past year.

The border was closed for several hours after the confirmation of a third case of Ebola in the Congolese city of Goma, where two people had already died.

Life is carrying on pretty much as normal in both Goma and Gisenyi across the border in Rwanda.

Soldiers and police had been deployed to the many unofficial border crossing points, which people often use, as well as to the two official points of entry.

Thursday is a public holiday in DR Congo called Parents’ Day. In the morning people go to clean up the graves and pay respects to their deceased relatives. In the afternoon, people take gifts to their parents. All of this carried on as it does every 1 August.

Most people are still shaking hands and embracing when meeting, as they would normally. Only a few have stopped since Ebola was confirmed in the city.

What has changed is that water taps have been set up in public places like offices where people have to wash their hands before entering. These have also been set up at the two official border crossing points.

There are still quite a few people in Goma who still don’t believe that Ebola exists but this might change now that three people have died.

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