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DR CONGO: Fears mount over spread of new Ebola outbreak

Health workers in DRC tending to Ebola patients

Fears are on the rise in the Democratic Republic of Congo following a fresh outbreak of the deadly Ebola virus with the World Health Organisation (WHO) stating that nearly 50 people have been infected in the new outbreak.

Mike Ryan, the WHO’s top emergencies expert, said on Monday that 48 cases had been confirmed in DRC’s Equateur province since authorities announced a new outbreak there on June 1.

There were three additional probable cases, he said, while a total of 20 people have died.

“This is still a very active outbreak, and I would say it is still a great concern,” Ryan told a news briefing.

Meanwhile, thousands of demonstrators thronged the streets of the capital, Kinshasa, to protest the National Assembly’s decision to appoint Ronsard Malonda as chairman of electoral commission CENI.

READ ALSO: Fresh Ebola outbreak kills five in the Congo

Police have used tear gas to disperse thousands of protesters in Kinshasa, who gathered in Boulevard Lumumba, one of the city’s main avenues, marching around a vehicle carrying former rebel leader and opposition chief Jean-Pierre Bemba on Monday.

Al Jazeera’s Catherine Soi said the capital returned to calm after the demonstrators were dispersed.

“The protesters were heading to parliament and were dispersed by police using tear gas,” Soi said, speaking from Nairobi.

“They say they are angry with the nomination of the president of the electoral commission, but also said, beyond that, they are unhappy with the leadership of the President Felix Tshisekedi and the coalition he has formed with former president Joseph Kabila.”

“They say this coalition has plunged the country in an economic and political crisis and the president needs to act urgently to resolve the situation,” she added.

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