News ID: 255834
Published: 0147 GMT July 15, 2019

WHO assessing if Ebola outbreak global emergency

WHO assessing if Ebola outbreak global emergency
A worker from the World Health Organization decontaminates the doorway of a house on a plot where two cases of Ebola were found, in the village of Mabalako, in eastern Congo, on June 17, 2019.

The head of the World Health Organization said he is reconvening the UN agency’s expert committee to assess whether or not the continuing Ebola outbreak in Congo warrants being declared a global emergency.

At a meeting convened in Geneva by WHO on Monday, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said the spread of Ebola to Goma, a city of two million people was a potential “game-changer.” He said the development was one WHO and Congolese officials had been prepared for and described the situation as one of the most complex humanitarian emergencies ever faced, AP reported.

Still, Tedros said the UN agency is “confident” in the response measures put in place and predicted there would be no further Ebola cases in Goma.

Tedros did not say when the expert committee would be convened; the group has met three times previously and decided each time against declaring the epidemic to be an international emergency.

With Ebola reaching Congo’s eastern city of Goma, authorities tracked down bus passengers who rode with a pastor who became the first confirmed case in the regional capital.

Health officials have feared since the beginning of the outbreak last August that cases could emerge in Goma.

The Ebola outbreak has killed nearly 1,700 people in Congo and two others who returned home to Uganda while sick.



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