Doctors Without Borders has returned to Macenta as well, opening a transit center more than a week ago at the site of its old clinic where it screens patients. As of the beginning of this month, the Health Ministry said 45 people from Macenta were being treated at an expanded treatment center at Gueckedou. The charity would like to open treatment centers in both towns, but it does not have enough staff.
Authorities are now restricting access to the region’s main city, also called Macenta, where fear has again taken hold.
“I have the impression that time has stopped in Macenta, that the city has shrunk,” said Siniman Kouroumah, a 42-year-old teacher. “We are afraid to walk the city, to eat anywhere, to drink anywhere.”
Poncin said he, too, has felt a shift, but for the better: People in Macenta are now afraid of dead bodies, running away from them rather than scooping them up for traditional burials. Villagers who used to throw stones at the health workers tracing contacts now seek their help.