Rwanda reverses its decision to screen U.S., Spain visitors for Ebola

Story highlights

  • U.S., Spain have had a handful of Ebola patients
  • Rwanda has had no Ebola cases
  • Ebola has killed nearly 5,000 people mostly in Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea
Rwanda will not be screening U.S. visitors for Ebola after all.
Days after it announced restrictions for passengers from Spain and the United States, the African nation is now backtracking.
Rwanda sent tongues wagging last week when it said visitors from the two western nations will be screened for Ebola. Both countries have had a handful of Ebola cases -- Rwanda has had none.
Visitors from the United States or Spain were required to report their medical condition -- regardless of whether they had Ebola symptoms -- for the duration of their visit to Rwanda, the U.S. Embassy said in a statement. It urged citizens to reconsider travel to Rwanda, especially if they had a fever or had visited nations battling the virus.
Rwanda's health ministry reversed the mandated screening, and issued an apology this week.
"The ministry of health is removing special screening of travelers from U.S. and Spain," said Agnes Binagwaho, Rwanda's minister of health. "Apologies for any inconveniences caused by my decision."
President Paul Kagame applauded her for reversing "herself on Ebola decision with respect to some countries."
"She has sometimes acted first n thought later ... it should be the other way round!" Kagame tweeted.
Ebola has killed nearly 5,000 people since the outbreak started in March, mostly in Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea. Mali reported its first Ebola case Thursday, sparking fears the deadly virus is spreading to more countries.