DR Congo sees resurgence of Ebola as country fights to stamp out Covid-19

The Democratic Republic of the Congo hoped on Monday to end the deadly Ebola epidemic that has plagued the country for 20 months. But ahead of the long-awaited deadline, the country has reported two new deaths from Ebola, a resurgence that comes as the country struggles to eradicate the coronavirus.

There was great hope that the World Health Organization (WHO) would officially raise the curtain on the 10e known outbreak of notorious hemorrhagic fever.

But Friday, a 26-year-old man was listed as deceased from the disease and on Sunday, health authorities reported that a young girl who had been treated at the same health center in the town of Beni, northeast of the city, epicenter of the epidemic, had died.

the Ebola epidemic, which started in the eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo on August 1, 2018, left 2,276 dead, according to an official count.

The epidemic can only be officially declared over after 52 days without new cases, which is equivalent to twice the incubation period of the virus.

The resurgence of the deadly virus means that DR Congo is now fighting two extremely infectious diseases, including the deadly coronavirus.

“Morally, it is very discouraging since we have been working for a year and a half, two years, on this epidemic and [we could finally] start breathing easily. Then suddenly we have to start from scratch. It is a psychological blow “, explained doctor Lusungu Mutuza to FRANCE 24.

Water the streets

In an effort to eliminate Covid-19, cleaners moved Monday to disinfect the institutional and commercial center of Kinshasa, the epicenter of the disease epidemic in the country.

Cleaners in white suits deployed sprays and fumigators to thoroughly clean Parliament, known as the People’s Palace, which is the seat of the National Assembly and the Senate. Legislators are expected to meet in Congress in the coming days.

Gombe, a district of embassies, head offices and upscale homes next to Lingwala where the Parliament is located, has been in detention since April 6.

The cleaners “disinfected the building (in Gombe) where several ministerial offices are located,” said Blaise Zahinda, communications advisor at the environment ministry.

Firefighters sprayed the main streets of Gombe on Sunday with water containing a five percent bleach solution.

The DRC, a country the size of continental western Europe, is considered by experts to be very vulnerable to the spread of the coronavirus.

It has a large population of 80 million, conflicts in the east, overcrowded shantytowns in the capital and poor health infrastructure.

The country has reported 235 cases of coronavirus, including 20 fatal.

Infections have occurred in five of the 26 provinces of the DRC, led by the city-province of Kinshasa, which has 223 cases. Most of these infections occurred in Gombe.

(FRANCE 24 with AFP)