A doctor has become the first probable Ebola case in one of the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo’s “high insecurity zones” which are dogged by militia violence and hard to access, a scenario “we have all been dreading”, the WHO said on Friday.
Since the outbreak erupted on Aug. 1, 103 confirmed and probable cases of Ebola have been identified in North Kivu and Ituri provinces, including 63 deaths, the health ministry said in an overnight update.
The doctor living in Oicha town in North Kivu has been re-hospitalised with Ebola symptoms after his wife was confirmed as having the disease when she traveled to the nearby city of Beni, Dr. Peter Salama, the World Health Organization’s head of emergency operations, said.
Oicha is almost entirely surrounded by ADF Ugandan Islamist militia, there are “extremely serious security concerns”, he said. Aid workers, priests and government officials are held hostage in the area, he said.
The doctor’s initial test for Ebola – which causes vomiting, fever and diarrhoea – had been negative, but fresh results are awaited, Salama told Reuters.
So far 97 of the doctor’s contacts who may have been exposed to the virus have been identified, and vaccination has begun in the town, he added.
“So for the first time really we have a confirmed case and contacts in an area of very high insecurity. It really was the problem we were anticipating and the problem at same time that we were dreading,” Salama told a news briefing.
WHO and health experts reached Oicha with armed escort by MONUSCO troops this week, he said, adding: “We know from that incident now in Oicha we are going to have to operate in some very complex environments due to security and access concerns.”
In a further worrying development, angry youth burned down a health centre in another village, where vaccinations were under way, after learning of a death from Ebola, Salama said.
More than 2,900 people have been vaccinated against Ebola since the outbreak began, he said.
“We are at quite a pivotal moment in this outbreak in terms of the evolution of the outbreak epidemiologically and in terms of the response,” he said.
President Buhari Promises Not To Complain About Inherited Problems
President Muhammadu Buhari has told Nigerian citizens living in Poland that he would no longer complain about problems his administration inherited from the previous government. He says belly-aching over the country’s history of corruption and mismanagement of resources has not helped his administration much. He says he would now face the challenges head on.
President Buhari is in Krakow, Poland, attending the COP24 summit on climate change. The President told the Nigerian diasporans he felt lucky to have won the presidency on the fourth try. He said it’s a job for which he asked; so, he won’t complain.
The President told his audience security of Nigerians, the environment and the institutions are his administration’s top priorities. He referred to the Boko Haram group that was holding seventeen local government areas when he took office. He says now, Boko Haram holds no local government area.
He said it has not been easy to fund the war against terror.
EFCC Finds Evidence In Jonah Jang Trial Case
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission has traced properties worth N500 million to former plateau state governor Jonah Jang.
EFCC acting spokesman Tony Orilade, says the properties are located in Kaduna state.
Orilade said preliminary investigation has revealed that the properties were purchased from new capital properties limited, a subsidiary of Northern Nigerian Development Company (NNDC) in Kaduna.
Jang is standing trial on a 12-count charge of diversion of public funds.
Survivor Pulled From Capsized Tanzanian Ferry As Death Toll Reaches 218
Divers rescued a man from the wreck of an overcrowded Tanzanian ferry on Saturday, two days after it capsized on Lake Victoria killing at least two people.
Bodies continued to float to the surface around the vessel, which initial estimates suggested had been carrying more than 300 people. State broadcaster TBC said late on Saturday the death toll had reached 218.
Four navy divers resumed their search inside the sunken MV Nyerere early on Saturday after hearing sounds that suggested signs of life.
They pulled one man out of the overturned ship and he was rushed to hospital, a Reuters witness said. His condition was not immediately known.
On Friday, President John Magufuli ordered the arrest of those responsible for the sinking.
Dozens of relatives stood crying by the shoreline as they waited for information on their loved ones. Coffins were lined up nearby awaiting bodies being pulled from the vessel, which lay belly up in the water just metres from the shoreline.
“The ferry overturned very fast and covered us,” survivor Charles Ngarima told Reuters. “I was lucky that I was able to swim under water not knowing where I was swimming to… While trying to swim to safety, I found a number of metal bars that cut my face and the back of my head.”
Another survivor, Jennifer Idhoze, said the ferry had capsized because it was overloaded. “I was able to jump out of the ferry… That is how I survived,” she said.
Works, Transport and Communication Minister Isack Kamwelwe said the government was sending special equipment to aid the rescue effort.
“This equipment will increase efficiency in the rescue operation and we will continue with the search until we are satisfied that we have rescued everyone,” he told Reuters.
The ferry sank on Thursday evening just a few metres from the dock on Ukerewe, the lake’s biggest island.
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