Amid grave concern over the spread of the coronavirus, the World Health Organisation (WHO) is more optimistic about efforts to contain its other global health emergency, Ebola, in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).
The WHO said on Wednesday via Twitter that no new cases had been confirmed or reported for the past seven days, nor had any deaths been confirmed. The epidemic is now reduced to a single sanitary zone, Beni, in the east of the country, WHO added.
L’épidémie d’#Ebola en #RDC est désormais réduite à une seule zone de santé, celle de #Beni. L’équipe de l’OMS et ses partenaires sur le terrain restent en alerte et continuent à travailler dur, en dépit de l’insécurité et de nombreux autres obstacles, pour parvenir à 0 cas. https://t.co/H69LshiZmr
In July, WHO had upgraded the Ebola epidemic in the DRC to a global health emergency due to the risk that it could spread to neighbouring Rwanda and Uganda.
WHO said its team and partners on the ground were constantly on the alert and continued to work hard, despite the insecurity and many other obstacles, to arrive at zero cases.
The Ebola epidemic was declared on 1 August 2018 in the eastern part of the DRC. So far, there have been 2,264 deaths (2,130 confirmed and 130 probable), according to the latest bulletin by the Congolese health authorities. Another 1,167 persons had overcome the virus, by being cured or by surviving it, while 453 suspected cases were under investigation.
The Ebola response has been complicated by insecurity in the affected areas, Beni, Butembo and the extreme south of Ituri.
By 22 February 2020, a total of 16,637 persons had been administered the Ad26.ZEBOV/MVA-BN-Filo (Johnson&Johnson) vaccine in two heath zones in Karisimbi in the eastern area of the city of Goma.
In total, over 300,000 persons have been vaccinated.