New Ebola death confirmed in the DRC as country was close to declaring end of epidemic

10 April 2020
Democratic Republic of the Congo. Students put up a poster detailing Ebola sensitization at a school in Butembo.
Students put up posters detailing Ebola sensitization at a school in Butembo, the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

KINSHASA, 10 April 2020 – Just two days before the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) was due to announce the end of the latest Ebola outbreak, the Government has confirmed the death of a 26-year old man due to Ebola in Beni, eastern DRC.

“We are very saddened by this news, just two days before the government was set to mark an important milestone in the fight against this deadly epidemic, said UNICEF DRC Representative Edouard Beigbeder. “UNICEF is still very much on the ground in the areas touched by Ebola, including Beni. We support teams conducting decontamination of the home of the confirmed case and continue to work closely with the health authorities and partners to provide support to the affected families and their children. This new case also confirms the importance of providing long term support to affected populations and mitigate the risks of any resurgence of the virus.”

The outbreak, which began in August 2018 and spread to three provinces in eastern DRC, is the world’s second-deadliest. It has killed 2,130 people and infected 3,310 people.  Children are hit the hardest, as they make up 30 per cent of all cases, compared to about 20 per cent in previous epidemics.

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Democratic republic of the Congo. A woman holds a baby.
FILE PHOTO: Madelaine, a carer at a UNICEF-supported nursery in Beni, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, holds five-month-old Guerrishon.

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