On Monday, the Government of the Democratic Republic of the Congo announced that a new outbreak of Ebola virus disease is surfacing is in Wangata health zone in the Equateur province.
According to the country's health ministry, so far six cases of Ebola have been detected in Wangata, out of which four have died and the remaining two are alive and under medical observation.
“This is a reminder that COVID-19 is not the only health threat people face,” World Health Organisation (WHO) Director-General Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said. “Although much of our attention is on the pandemic, WHO is continuing to monitor and respond to many other health emergencies.”
Congo is yet to officially declare an end to the Ebola outbreak in its troubled east, where at least 2,243 people have died since an epidemic began there in August 2018.
This is Congo’s 11th outbreak of Ebola since the deadly virus was first discovered in the country in 1976.
The novel COVID-19 has so far reached seven of Congo’s 25 provinces, with more than 3,000 confirmed infections and 72 deaths. “This quadruple threat could prove lethal for millions of children and their families,” said Anne-Marie Connor, national director in Congo for the aid organization World Vision.
Congo, like other African countries, is conducting extremely limited testing and experts fear that the number of infections may be much higher than what is reported.
According to WHO, new outbreaks of Ebola are expected in the Democratic Republic of the Congo given the existence of the virus in an animal reservoir in many parts of the country.