DR Congo Ebola outbreak declared global health emergency

epaselect epa04675048 A Liberian man walk pass an ebola awareness painting on a wall in downtown Monrovia, Liberia, 22 March 2015. Liberia has confirmed a new case of Ebola, undermining growing hopes in the country that it might soon be declared free of the disease. There had not been a new case for 20 days until a woman tested positive on 22 March in the capital, Monrovia. March 22nd 2015. EPA/AHMED JALLANZO

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The World Health Organization has declared the Ebola crisis in the Democratic Republic of Congo a “public health emergency of international concern” (PHEIC).

The PHEIC emergency provision is the highest level of alarm the WHO can sound and has only been used four times previously.

This includes the Ebola epidemic that devastated parts of West Africa from 2014 to 2016, and killed more than 11,000 people.

The move may encourage wealthy donor countries to provide more cash.

But the WHO stopped short of saying borders should be closed, saying the risk of the disease spreading outside the region was not high.

The outbreak in DR Congo has killed more than 1,600 people.

This week, the first case was detected in Goma, home to more than a million and cases reported also in Uganda.

The outbreak, the second largest in history, started in August 2018 and is affecting two provinces in DR Congo – North Kivu and Ituri.

More than 2,500 people have been infected and two-thirds of them have died.



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