Fresh concerns over Ebola outbreak as Japan tests for possible victim
The United Nations Security Council has again expressed “grave concern” over developments in the Democratic Republic of Congo, where the death toll from the Ebola virus outbreak has reached 1,843 people, according to the latest numbers from the World Health Organization.
The 15-member council issued its statement through current council president Jacek Czaputowicz of Poland, whose message emphasized the international risk of the outbreak as well as the complicated security situation in the affected North Kivu and Ituri provinces in the DR Congo’s east.
The Security Council called for an immediate end to hostilities among armed groups whose activities compromise the Ebola response, and for an end to attacks on health and humanitarian workers.
The outbreak, now more than a year old is the second-largest in history after the West African outbreak. While Ebola has remained within the Congolese borders, the number of cases now reported in the busy border city of Goma has raised fears of the virus spreading into Rwanda, Uganda and beyond.
Two people are currently under treatment there, according to DR Congo response director Jean-Jacques Muyembe Tamfum. Another 15 people are suspected of having Ebola and awaiting test results, while at least two people linked to Goma have died from the virus. Others are receiving vaccinations.
Meanwhile, on the other side of the world, Japan was keeping a woman in her 70s in isolation after she returned from the DR Congo with a possible Ebola infection. The country’s Ministry of Health said Sunday that her test was negative for Ebola.
The woman from Saitama Prefecture has been under medical care since July 31.