KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 21 – As of October 13, 3,228 cases of Ebola virus disease (EVD) have been reported in the Democratic Republic of Congo, of which 3,114 confirmed and 114 probable, recording 2,123 deaths in total, according to a statement by World Health Organisation (WHO).
These cases translate to a fatality rate of 66 per cent.
“In the 21 days from 23 September to 13 October, the number of affected health areas has reduced, with 22 health areas and 10 health zones reporting new cases, predominated by Mandima, Mambasa and Kalunguta.
“In recent weeks, the incidence of EVD cases has consistently declined, with 15 new confirmed cases, reported in North Kivu and Ituri provinces during the last epidemiological week of 7–13 October, in comparison with 128 confirmed cases per week reported at the peak of the outbreak in April 2019,” the statement on the meeting of the International Health Regulations (2005) Emergency Committee for Ebola virus disease, read.
WHO secretariat stated in the meeting, that the risk remains very high at national and regional levels, but remains low on a global scale.
The secretariat also welcomed the commencement of Johnson and Johnson vaccine studies in Uganda and the imminent commencement of similar studies in Congo, in addition to continuing to track progress with other vaccine candidates.
“Efforts to increase security are underway. There is a need to focus both on intervention gaps and the quality of interventions. Identifying areas where the virus might migrate and securing these areas constitutes a major priority,” said the United Nations Ebola Emergency Response Coordinator in the meeting.
While the emergency committee expressed its pleasure on the efforts made by the neighbouring countries to strengthen preparedness, it voiced concern on the lack of sustained financial support for these activities.
A year into the outbreak, the access and security situations on the ground could hinder final efforts to eliminate the virus from rural communities, said the committee.