WHO warns of 'very high' risk of Ebola spread in DRC

Updated: May 21, 2019, 08:57 IST | Agencies

Nearly 1,200 people have died since last August when the DRC declared a 10th outbreak of Ebola in 40 years

WHO warns of 'very high' risk of Ebola spread in DRC
Coffins containing victims of the Ebola virus are seen entering a graveyard in Butembo in the African country. Pic/AFP

The World Health Organization chief on Monday urged different political factions in the Democratic Republic of Congo to unite in the battle against Ebola, warning that the risk of spread "remains very high".

"Ebola does not take sides. It is the enemy of everybody," WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said. Nearly 1,200 people have died since last August when the DRC declared a 10th outbreak of Ebola in 40 years.

Efforts to roll back the outbreak have been hampered by fighting in the affected regions and attacks on medical teams, as well as locals who view the international effort at prevention with suspicion.

Tedros said he had met with the DRC's president and with opposition leaders "to urge a bipartisan approach to end this outbreak." "Unless we unite to end this outbreak we run the risk it will become more widespread and more expansive and more aggressive," he said. Efforts to rein in the virus, including vaccination of more than 1,20,000 people, have so far succeeded in limiting the outbreak to the conflict-wracked North Kivu province.

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