• Sunday, Sep 20, 2020
  • Last Update : 11:28 pm

WHO: Ebola spreads to DR Congo city surrounded by rebels

  • Published at 02:28 am August 25th, 2018
WEB_DR Congo_Health workers remove a body_Ebola_AFP_Edited_24.08.2018.jpg
Health workers carry out the body of a patient with unconfirmed Ebola virus on August 22, 2018 in Mangina, in the North Kivu province in DR Congo AFP

Reports of Ebola cases are coming from Oicha, a city in the country's North Kivu province, which is currently under the siege of rebels

The Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of Congo has spread to a city surrounded by rebels, creating challenges responders were "dreading," the World Health Organization said Friday.

One probable case and one suspected case have emerged in the city of Oicha in DRC's North Kivu province, WHO's emergency response chief Peter Salama told reporters.

While Oicha itself is not under rebel control, Salama said the city is entirely surrounded by territory held by a feared Ugandan insurgent group known as the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF).

"For the first time we have a confirmed case... in an area with high insecurity," Salama said.

"It really was the problem we were anticipating and the problem at the same time we were dreading."

Large numbers of civilians have been killed by unrest around Oicha, while aid workers, priests and government employers are currently being held hostage there by insurgents, according to Salama.

The outbreak, the 10th to hit DRC since 1976, began on August 1 in the North Kivu town of Mangina.

The virus has killed 63 people so far -- out of 103 confirmed or probable cases -- but Salama warned health workers were expecting "at least one additional wave of cases."

The Oicha cases have made containing the virus more difficult.

"We are going to have to operate in some very complex environments," Salama said.

UN teams are only allowed to travel to Oicha with armed escorts.

If the number of patients, or contacts of patients, in the city surges, the logistical hurdles and costs will mount.

After its widely criticized handling of the 2013-2016 West Africa Ebola epidemic that killed 11,300 people, WHO pledged to revamp its response systems.

The UN agency was widely praised for quickly containing an outbreak in DRC's northern Equateur province earlier this year, but said from the outset that restive North Kivu in the east of the country posed additional challenges.

"We are at quite a pivotal moment in this outbreak," Salama said. "We are truly at the crossroads."

51
51
blogger sharing button blogger
buffer sharing button buffer
diaspora sharing button diaspora
digg sharing button digg
douban sharing button douban
email sharing button email
evernote sharing button evernote
flipboard sharing button flipboard
pocket sharing button getpocket
github sharing button github
gmail sharing button gmail
googlebookmarks sharing button googlebookmarks
hackernews sharing button hackernews
instapaper sharing button instapaper
line sharing button line
linkedin sharing button linkedin
livejournal sharing button livejournal
mailru sharing button mailru
medium sharing button medium
meneame sharing button meneame
messenger sharing button messenger
odnoklassniki sharing button odnoklassniki
pinterest sharing button pinterest
print sharing button print
qzone sharing button qzone
reddit sharing button reddit
refind sharing button refind
renren sharing button renren
skype sharing button skype
snapchat sharing button snapchat
surfingbird sharing button surfingbird
telegram sharing button telegram
tumblr sharing button tumblr
twitter sharing button twitter
vk sharing button vk
wechat sharing button wechat
weibo sharing button weibo
whatsapp sharing button whatsapp
wordpress sharing button wordpress
xing sharing button xing
yahoomail sharing button yahoomail