Congo Ebola outbreak is declared a global health emergency
Congo Ebola outbreak is declared a global health emergency
1st Ebola death confirmed in DRC's Goma
20 July, 2019, 16:08
The World Health Organization's director-general has declared the current Ebola outbreak in Democratic Republic of Congo an global health emergency.
A World Health Organization panel is debating whether to declare the outbreak "of worldwide concern", a designation that the agency's head suggested a case this month in the large Congolese city of Goma had made more likely.
And the country's volatile security situation is complicating matters, as Al Jazeera's Catherine Soi reports from Nairobi. In early June, a few cases were confirmed in neighbouring Uganda, and now he disease has reached Goma, a large city on the border with Rwanda, sparking fear that one of the deadliest diseases on Earth could spread across the region.
However, besides recommending a PHEIC and making specific recommendations related to this outbreak, the International Health Regulations Emergency Committee for Ebola virus disease in the DRC on Wednesday also expressed disappointment about delays in funding which have constrained the response.
A WHO expert committee declined on three previous occasions to advise the United Nations health agency to make the declaration, but other experts say the outbreak has long met the conditions. The virus is most often spread by close contact with bodily fluids of people exhibiting symptoms and with contaminated objects such as sheets.
World Health Organization has held off on making the emergency declaration on three previous occasions, but the confirmation of a case in North Kivu's capital Goma escalated the crisis.
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"The PHEIC should not be used to stigmatise or penalise the very people who are most in need of our help".
Instead, at risk countries were advised to increase level of preparedness and surveillance for quick detection of imported cases including mapping out health facilities and active surveillance with zero reporting. Since January, there have been nearly 200 attacks on staff and clinics, with seven health workers killed. The virus has since been detected in neighboring Uganda.
This was the fourth meeting of the emergency committee since the outbreak was declared on August 1, 2018. But one fish store owner who she had dealt with had locked up his shop and could not be traced, nor could his four attendants or brother, and fellow traders were refusing to share his phone contact, the ministry said.
The WHO committee's chairman, Robert Steffen, tempered the outbreak's designation as an emergency by saying it remained a regional, rather than a global threat, and stressed that no country should react to Ebola by closing borders or restricting trade.
"I am vaccinated and I protect myself against Ebola", said Zoe Kibwana, a 46-year-old shoe salesman who does business in Uganda, just 70km from Beni.
However, German authorities refrained from commenting on the issue, simply stating that the Chancellor has no major health issues. She made the remarks during a speech at the yearly German Federal Press Conference (BPK) in Berlin.
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Secretary of state Mike Pompeo had said the administration was responding to an emergency caused by Saudi Arabia's arch-foe Iran. So far, neither the Pentagon nor Saudi Arabia has made any comment on the issue.
The State Department said Friday that it was following the case but declined to provide details, citing privacy considerations. An anonymous source told the outlet that Trump had told his team he wanted the issue to be resolved.
Both candidates vying to replace Theresa May as Britain's prime minister said they agreed with her that the language used by U.S. The measure says Mr Trump's tweets "have legitimised and increased fear and hatred of new Americans and people of colour".
She added, "I'm filled with a lot of pain about leaving and a lot of gratitude and thanks to all of you". I am very very thankful for the experience I've had in ways that I cant even express right now.
The US Treasury said on Thursday it imposed sanctions on what it called a network of front companies and agents. But Mr Zarif told reporters at the United Nations he was not aware of any Iranian drone being downed.
At the same time, Instagram and parent company Facebook continue to face allegations that it's suppressing conservative voices . The photo-sharing giant has chose to warn such users as they are not following the company's policies and guidelines.
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