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WHO extends DR Congo’s Ebola ’emergency status’

Health workers in DRC tending to Ebola patients

The World Health Organisation (WHO) has extended the designation of global health emergency earlier declared in the Democratic Republic of Congo over the outbreak of the Ebola virus, to three months.

This was revealed late on Wednesday by WHO chief Tedros Ghebreyesus who said that the potential remained for a much larger epidemic as long as there was a single case of the disease in an area as insecure as eastern DR Congo.

According to Tedros, insecurity in the east of the country threatens eradication efforts after the outbreak was declared a global health emergency in July 2019 following the death of a patient who passed in the provincial capital Goma – the first case in a major city.

“Since then, More than 2,300 people have died since the outbreak began in 2018,” he added.

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The development comes months after the death of a journalist who had been raising awareness on the dreaded Ebola virus in the DRC, was confirmed by local authorities.

The journalist identified as Papy Mumbere Mahamba was reportedly attacked by gunmen at his home in Lwebma, in the north-eastern province of Ituri.

According to a statement by the army in the DRC at the time of the attack, the assailants who invaded Mahamba’s home also wounded his wife and burnt their house down.

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