World Health Organisation has warned about the danger of an Ebola epidemic as the Democratic Republic of Congo authorities call for calm as the first case of Ebola haemorrhagic fever is reported in Goma, a populous town in Eastern DRC near the border to Rwanda.
“And Goma is a warning, and that warning may result in more cases. We hope it does not.,” said Mike Ryan, World Health Organisation Emergencies Director.
Authorities claim to have responded early and fast to the case. At least 30 of the 60 people that have been in contact with the patient, an evangelical pastor, have been vaccinated. While the rest hope to be vaccinated in the next 24hrs.
Authorities have promised to boost preventive measure to avoid further spread of the disease. Meanwhile, the head of the WHO says he is reconvening the UN agency’s expert committee to assess whether or not the continuing Ebola outbreak in Congo warrants being declared a global emergency.
“And finally, the identification of the case in Goma could potentially be a game-changer in this epidemic. Goma is a city of 2 million people, near the border with Rwanda and is a gateway to the region and the world. We’re confident in the measures we’ve put in place and hope that we will see no further transmission of Ebola in Goma. Nevertheless, we cannot be too careful. I have therefore decided to reconvene the emergency committee as soon as possible to assess the threat of this development and advise me accordingly,“Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Head of World Health Organisation.
The recent Ebola epidemic which has claimed the lives of 1665 people has so far been confined to the north and this new case tests the measures in place. The United States called on UN member states to provide more funds in the efforts against Ebola.