World

Rwanda backtracks on decision to screen U.S. and Spanish travelers for Ebola

In this Oct. 8, 2014 photo, a medical worker from the Infection Prevention and Control unit wearing full protective equipment decontaminates a cup used by a man being quarantined after coming into contact in Uganda with a carrier of the Marburg Virus, a hemorrhagic fever from the same family as Ebola, at the Kenyatta National Hospital in Nairobi, Kenya. Health officials battling the Ebola outbreak that has killed more than 4,500 people in West Africa have managed to limit its spread on the continent to five countries, with Kenya so far escaping the virus. (AP Photo/Ben Curtis)

In this Oct. 8, 2014 photo, a medical worker from the Infection Prevention and Control unit wearing full protective equipment decontaminates a cup used by a man being quarantined after coming into contact in Uganda with a carrier of the Marburg Virus, a hemorrhagic fever from the same family as Ebola, at the Kenyatta National Hospital in Nairobi, Kenya. Health officials battling the Ebola outbreak that has killed more than 4,500 people in West Africa have managed to limit its spread on the continent to five countries, with Kenya so far escaping the virus. (AP Photo/Ben Curtis)

Rwanda's minister of health is reversing a decision to require visitors who had been in the U.S. or Spain during the previous 22 days to report their medical condition to Rwandan authorities daily.

Dr. Agnes Binagwaho said on Twitter late Wednesday that the decision to screen travelers from the U.S. and Spain was solely her decision and not the government's. She apologized for any inconvenience.

A posting on President Paul Kagame's Twitter account said the measures instituted by Binagwaho weren't necessary and that his health minister sometimes acts first and thinks later.

No Ebola cases have been reported in Rwanda. The U.S. Embassy says that Rwanda is not allowing in visitors who have recently traveled to Guinea, Liberia, Senegal or Sierra Leone.

The reversal comes only two days after Binagwaho said Tuesday that travelers from the U.S. and Spain would be required to fill out a detailed form upon arrival.

"It is definitely extra work for us. We have to ensure that all citizens or any other travelers arriving from the above mentioned countries including the U.S have to be screened in an extra careful manner and follow up on them during their stay," Bingwaho said.

Rwanda has quarantined 30 people since the Ebola outbreak, none of the U.S. citizens. One German national has been quarantined.

Based on reporting by the Associated Press.

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