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DR Congo Ebola death toll crosses 2,000 ahead of UN chief’s visit

AFP


The Ebola outbreak showed no signs of easing in DR Congo Friday on the eve of the UN chief’s visit, with the death toll from the highly contagious virus crossing 2,000 and a new fatality in neighbouring Uganda.

The latest casualty in Uganda was a nine-year-old girl from the Democratic Republic of Congo, reviving fears that the virus could cross the porous borders of the central African country, where it erupted in August last year.

DR Congo health officials said late Thursday that there have been “2,006 deaths (1,901 confirmed and 105 probable)” since August 2018.

“Since the start of the epidemic, the number of cases is 3,004, including 2,899 confirmed and 105 probable,” a bulletin said, adding that 902 people had been cured.

The toll is a setback for the beleaguered country, coming a day before UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres visits for a first-hand assessment of the fightback.

It is the second-worst Ebola outbreak in history after more than 11,000 people were killed in Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia between 2014 and 2016.

Containment efforts have been hindered by conflict in eastern DRC as well as attacks on Ebola fighters within affected communities.