In a Reversal, Rwanda Screens Air Passengers Arriving from U.S. for Ebola

Thursday, October 23, 2014
Ebola screening of airline passengers arriving in Lagos, Nigeria (photo: Sunday Alamba, AP)

Turnabout is fair play, or perhaps just prudent when the matter involves the deadly Ebola virus.


The government of Rwanda has decided to start screening all visitors arriving from the United States, where one person who contracted Ebola in West Africa died and others infected with the virus have been treated.


The U.S. Embassy in Rwanda says local authorities are requiring visitors who have been in the United States or Spain during the last 22 days “to report their medical condition — regardless of whether they are experiencing symptoms of Ebola — by telephone by dialing 114 between 7:00 a.m. and 8:00 p.m. for the duration of their visit to Rwanda (if less than 21 days), or for the first 21 days of their visit to Rwanda.”


Two missionaries who picked up Ebola in West Africa died in Spain and a Spanish nurse tested positive for the virus. Rwanda is also denying entry to visitors who have been in Guinea, Liberia, Senegal, or Sierra Leone within the previous 22 days.


Adam Taylor at The Washington Post noted that Rwanda may be reacting to an incident in New Jersey, where two Rwandan exchange students were pulled out of school following fears by staff members and parents that that the two might be carrying the Ebola virus, despite no evidence that they were. In fact, New Jersey is closer to Texas, site of the U.S. outbreak, than Rwanda is to West Africa, more than 2,500 miles away.


The U.S. Department of Homeland Security has ordered that all travelers entering the country from West Africa come in at one of five airports set up to screen for Ebola.

-Noel Brinkerhoff


To Learn More:

Now an African Country is Screening Incoming Americans and Spaniards for Ebola (by Adam Taylor, Washington Post)

Rwanda to Screen U.S. Visitors for Ebola (by Doug Stanglin, USA Today)


Sven 9 years ago
All WA countries are testing everyone for ebola. This article is very misleading. Ghana, Gabon, Nigeria, Angola, Cameroun that are definitely testing.

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