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DR Congo: WHO declares Ebola outbreak global health emergency

DR Congo: WHO declares Ebola outbreak global health emergency
Source: Ghana| Myjoyonline.com |Abubakar Ibrahim |abubakar.ibrahim@myjoyonline.com
Date: 17-07-2019 Time: 08:07:37:pm

The World Health Organisation (WHO) has for the first time declared the Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of Congo, a global health emergency.

The WHO Regional Director for Africa, Dr Matshiiso Moeti, who confirmed this in a tweet Wednesday, said the Organisation arrived at the decision after consulting the International Health Regulations (IHR) Emergency Committee.

Dr Moeti “urge the international community to step up and put its full support behind the Ebola response.”

Health experts believe the WHO move is to encourage affluent donor countries to contribute more cash to fight the virus.

The WHO, however, stopped short of saying borders should be closed, saying the risk of the disease spreading outside the region was not high.

Background

The outbreak in DR Congo has killed more than 1,600 people.

This week, the first case was detected in Goma, home to more than a million.

The outbreak, the second largest in history, started in August 2018 and is affecting two provinces in DR Congo - North Kivu and Ituri.

More than 2,500 people have been infected and two-thirds of them have died.


It took 224 days for the number of cases to reach 1,000, but just a further 71 days to reach 2,000.

About 12 new cases are being reported every day.