Kinshasa: The Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) on Monday officially declared the end of the 12th Ebola outbreak, which killed six people in its eastern province of North Kivu.
Since the outbreak declared on February 7, 2021, a total of 12 cases have been reported, including six deaths in the province, the Xinhua news agency reported.
Thanks to the experience of the DRC’s response team and health partners, the epidemic has been brought under control in less than three months after its declaration, said health Minister Jean-Jacques Mbungani.
“Local health workers and authorities should be commended for their rapid response, tenacity, experience and hard work in controlling this outbreak,” said Matshidiso Moeti, World Health Organization (WHO) regional director for Africa.
The recent resurgence was genetically linked to the 2018-2020 epidemic in the northeastern part of the country, in which 3,470 people were infected and 2,287 were killed. Another outbreak in the western province of Ecuador infected 130 people and killed 55 between June and November 2020.
Guinea is also currently fighting against an Ebola epidemic since this February. Over the years, the virus has been a health crisis for Africa, which is already troubled by the Covid-19 pandemic.
“The response to this epidemic has been influenced by the expansion of the Covid-19 pandemic, which has not spared our country,” Mbungani noted.
The WHO warned that the country should remain vigilant and maintain a robust surveillance system, as potential resurgences are possible in the coming months.
“While the epidemic is over, we must remain vigilant to a possible resurgence while drawing on the growing expertise in emergency response to handle other health threats that the country faces,” Moeti said.