Ebola: U.S. Lifts Travel Restrictions on D.R. Congo

On 5 June 2018 in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, UNICEF-supported social mobilizers address a group of children in central Mbandaka, the capital of Equateur Province. Since the start of the Ebola outbreak in the DRC, UNICEF and its partners have reached more than 300,000 people with lifesaving information about how to avoid contracting the deadline virus. Following the announcement by the Government of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) on 8 May 2018 of a new Ebola outbreak in Equateur Province, UNICEF has mobilised its teams to help contain the spread of the disease. The outbreak was declared in the Bikoro Health Zone, located more than 100 kilometers south of the provincial capital of Mbandaka. A UNICEF team with two doctors, a specialist in water, sanitation and hygiene as well as a specialist in community communication left today from Mbandaka to assess the extent of the epidemic and begin implementing the response, alongside the Government and the World Health Organization (WHO). This is the ninth Ebola outbreak in the country since 1976. UNICEF supports the Government in its coordination of the response both from the country’s capital Kinshasa as well as in the affected area. UNICEF has been active in the Equateur Province for many years. Based on its experience in previous Ebola epidemics, UNICEF is focusing its response on communication activities in the communities to protect people from the disease and on water supply, hygiene and sanitation to prevent the spread of the disease. UNICEF has already sent a total of 45 kg of chlorine, five sprays, 50kg of soap and 28,000 water purification tablets to the area, as well as 600 posters and 6,000 leaflets to educate affected communities.

United States Government has lifted its travel restrictions on the Democratic Republic of Congo over its Ebola Virus Disease epidemic.

The Joe Biden-led Government however kept the restriction on Guinea in place as concerns over Ebola still rage on in the country.

United States Homeland Security Department had said in March that people who have been to the DRC and Guinea in the past 21 days should go any of six airports in the United States namely; New York-JFK, Chicago, Atlanta, Washington Dulles, Newark or Los Angeles.

The department observed that the incidence and risk of the disease in DRC has greatly reduced, hence the decision to lift the travel bottlenecks.

With the restrictions lifted, this means Americans can travel to and from D.R. Congo unabated.

Ebola had re-emerged in Guinea and Congo D.R., although with lesser incidences and better pharmaceutical interventions.


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