United Nations health agency experts meet today to decide whether the Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of Congo should still be considered a global health emergency, following a sharp decline in reported cases.
The WHO declared last July the Ebola outbreak as a "public health emergency of global interest", a designation that gives the United Nations health agency greater powers to restrict travel and increase funds.
"As long as there is a single case of Ebola in an area as insecure and unstable as eastern DRC, the potential remains for a much larger epidemic", said WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus in Geneva during a media briefing.
"WHO's risk assessment is that the risk of spread is high nationally and regionally, and low globally", Tedros said.More news: ACCC Responds To TPG-Vodafone Merger After Court Ruling
DR Congo troops have captured 40 fighters from a militia blamed for killing hundreds in massacres across the restive eastern part of the country, the United Nations mission MONUSCO said Wednesday.
World Health Organization has revised its risk assessment from very high to high at national and regional levels, and low at the global level.
More than a month earlier, World Health Organization reported that the virus had spread to Uganda for the first time. The current transmission trend is encouraging overall according to WHO, with very few new cases and only two health zones affected in the past 21 days, including Beni.
Before the outbreak could be declared over, Congo must be free of any new cases for 42 days.More news: First Case Of Coronavirus In London Confirmed
To date, Ebola has killed more than 2,200 people in Congo, making it the second-deadliest epidemic in history.
"Nonetheless, the signs are extremely positive, and I hope that by the time the (WHO) Emergency Committee reconvenes, we will be able to declare an end to the Ebola outbreak".
The Beni region, straddling the North Kivu and Ituri provinces, has been repeatedly attacked by the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF) rebel group, which activists say has massacred more than 300 people since October.More news: Canada doesn't tell police what to do, Trudeau says of rail blockades