WHO emergency committee meets on Ebola after new DR Congo case

For it to be declared over, there have to be no new cases reported for 42 days -- double the incubation period.

Published: 14th April 2020 06:00 PM  |   Last Updated: 14th April 2020 06:00 PM   |  A+A-


Health workers treating an Ebola victim. ( File Photo | AP)


GENEVA: The WHO said its emergency committee would meet Tuesday to discuss whether the Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of the Congo still constitutes an international health emergency, after fresh cases were detected.

The meeting comes a day after DR Congo had been expected to announce that the outbreak in the east of the country that began in August 2018 was over.

The epidemic has killed 2,276 people to date.

For it to be declared over, there have to be no new cases reported for 42 days -- double the incubation period.

But as the World Health Organization's emergency committee met last Friday to determine whether its declaration of a so-called Public Health Emergency of International Concern, or PHEIC, could be lifted, a new case was reported.

"We now have three cases, two people who have died, one person who is alive," WHO spokeswoman Margaret Harris told reporters in a virtual briefing in Geneva on Tuesday.

She said that all of the contacts of those cases had been traced and vaccinated and were being followed closely.

DR Congo health authorities announced Friday that a 26-year-old man was listed as having died from the disease, and a young girl who was being treated in the same health centre passed away on Sunday.

Both died in the city of Beni, epicentre of the outbreak.

Due to the shifting situation, the WHO decided to reconvene its emergency committee to again evaluate whether or not the outbreak still constitutes an international health emergency, Harris said.

It was scheduled to announce its decision later Tuesday.

The DR Congo has meanwhile started a new 42-day countdown to declare an end to its 10th epidemic of the deadly haemorrhagic fever disease.


Disclaimer : We respect your thoughts and views! But we need to be judicious while moderating your comments. All the comments will be moderated by the editorial. Abstain from posting comments that are obscene, defamatory or inflammatory, and do not indulge in personal attacks. Try to avoid outside hyperlinks inside the comment. Help us delete comments that do not follow these guidelines.

The views expressed in comments published on are those of the comment writers alone. They do not represent the views or opinions of or its staff, nor do they represent the views or opinions of The New Indian Express Group, or any entity of, or affiliated with, The New Indian Express Group. reserves the right to take any or all comments down at any time.

flipboard facebook twitter whatsapp