As a precautionary measure, local government authorities in Rwanda’s famous lake-shore District of Rubavu commonly referred to as Gisenyi, have suspended all activities on Lake Kivu citing fears of Ebola outbreak.
The directive in the Western Province follows floating bodies that were sighted on the lake.
According to local reports, the bodies are a result of a ferry that capsized in Democratic Republic of Congo’s part of Lake Kivu killing more than 100 people.
Dead bodies have since been held beneath water bodies and were recently discovered on the Rwandan side of the Lake.
However, authorities on the Rwandan side started retrieving the bodies and issued a ban on the activities conducted on the Lake such as fishing.
On April 15, a ferry was transporting people from Kalehe region in South Kivu Province bordering Rwanda to Goma, capsized killing 102 people out of 143 people on board, Vital Muhini a Congolese member of Parliament said.
On April 19, Rwanda handed over 15 dead bodies to DRC after they were retrieved in Rutsiro district.
Five days later on April 24, another dead body was retrieved in Lake Kivu’s side in Rubavu District.
Local media reports quote Rubavu District mayor Gi
“We feared people conducting fishing and leisure activities could drink contaminated water from these dead bodies. We also considered a deadly Ebola outbreak that has hit DRC,” Habyarimana is quoted.
According to the Mayor, authorities are obliged to suspend activities on the lake for a period of two weeks whenever an accident occurs and kills people.
For several years now, Rwanda has been on Ebola alert following outbreaks of the deadly virus in neighbouring; Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and Uganda.
Recently as Watchdog reported Rwanda’s ministry of health launched a vaccination drive of health workers involved in prevention drive against Ebola.
The drive is aimed at protecting healthcare workers from contracting the deadly virus in case they have to deal with patients who have contracted it.
Currently Rwanda is Ebola free according to the ministry, the vaccination is informed by the fact that the epidemic has persisted in neighbouring DR Congo.
The Ebola outbreak was declared in August 2018 in the Congolese provinces of North Kivu and Ituri while Uganda, South Sudan and Rwanda were declared as priority one countries and are currently undergoing Ebola Virus Disease readiness and preparedness.
In the current outbreak in In DR Congo, 1087 people have been infected with the virus and 60 per cent of them died while 370 were treated and recovered.
The vaccination drive started on April 15 and last for five months, covering 15 districts that medics say are more susceptible to the epidemic.
They are Nyarugenge, Gasabo, Kicuki
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