Sunday, 18 August, 2019

Saudi Arabia bans travellers from Congo before haj over Ebola fears

Beni Ebola activity tops first wave as outbreak grows by 8 cases EU Ebola funding to the Democratic Republic of Congo increased
Anna Jefferson | 29 July, 2019, 20:42

The €30m announced today will bring the total allocation of EU Ebola funding to the Democratic Republic of Congo since the outbreak began last year to €47m; with an additional humanitarian aid funding package worth €3.5m distributed to South Sudan and Uganda in June this year to support prevention and treatment of Ebola.

Last week, members of the emergency Committee declared an epidemic in DR Congo "emergency environment, public health, global importance".

A letter from the Saudi foreign ministry to DR Congo's embassy in Riyadh - seen by AP news agency - said the kingdom had taken the decision to protect pilgrims and others from the virus.

The current wave of infections in Beni has involved more cases and is now longer than the initial wave in that region, early in the outbreak, which began nearly a year ago.

Aceng said Uganda is safe and all national and global travelers are free to travel to and within the country. People from sub-Saharan Africa make up about 10 percent of the more than two million annual pilgrims to the holy city of Mecca.

Expressing deep concern that three of affected the most affected areas of the Eastern part of the country are experiencing security challenges, the council said the outbreak has the potential to undermine the tremendous progress made in the region.

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Experts of the world health organization believe that the probability of the infection spreading to other provinces of the country is very high.

It's the first time vaccines have been deployed against the killer virus discovered in 1976.

Screening has been reinforced at the border crossing between Goma in the DRC and the Rwandan city of Gisenyi, where tens of thousands of people cross each day.

Liberia on August 30, 2014 said it would deny permission for any crew to disembark from ships at the country's four seaports until the Ebola epidemic ravaging west Africa was under control.

"It is hard to fight a battle without your best ally at your side", WHO's emergencies chief Mike Ryan told reporters, when asked about CDC's deployment.

"But our colleagues in CDC have provided wonderful support, both in DRC, in the surrounding countries, here in Geneva, in our operation centres in backstopping and providing high-level technical assistance to the response", Ryan said.

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