from JEAN KASSONGO in Kinshasa, DRC
KINSHASA, (CAJ News) – AT least 20 people have died from the latest outbreak of the Ebola virus disease in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).
The deaths have been documented from 51 reported cases since the outbreak was reported in the town of Mbandaka in the western Equateur province.
It is the country’s 11th outbreak of the deadly virus since it was first discovered in the country in 1976. Mbandaka and surrounding areas were the sites of DRC’s ninth Ebola outbreak, which took place from May to July 2018.
The announcement of the latest eruption comes as a long, difficult and complex Ebola outbreak in eastern DRC is in its final phase.
That outbreak has left more than 2 000 people dead since it was reported in August 2018.
The vast African country is also battling the deadly coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and the world’s largest measles outbreak.
DRC has reported 190 deaths from 8 075 confirmed cases of COVID-19.
The plagued nation of more than 80 million people also suffers sporadic outbreaks of cholera.
“It’s (Ebola) happening at a challenging time,” said Dr Matshidiso Moeti, World Health Organisation (WHO) regional director for Africa.
WHO is already on the ground in Mbandaka supporting the response to this eruption, as part of capacity built during the 2018 outbreak.
The Ministry of Health this week presented the integrated response plan against Ebola and COVID-19 in Equateur province.
This plan amounts to more than US$29,6 million (R498 million) and covers public health aspects as well as coordination and security.
– CAJ News