The Democratic Republic of Congo recorded a second Ebola death within days of the first following more than six weeks without a new case, the World Health Organization (WHO) said on Sunday.
The victim was an 11-month-old girl linked to an Ebola death reported on Friday in the city of Beni, it said.
Congo was on Sunday due to mark an end to an outbreak of the virus that has killed more than 2,200 people since August 2018 in an area of the country where militia violence hobbled efforts to contain it. However, a new case popped up. Now, they will have to manage both Ebola and the coronavirus at once.
“It all feels like one big storm,” said Martine Milonde, a Congolese community mobilizer who works with the aid group World Vision in Beni, which has been the epicenter of the Ebola outbreak. “Truly, this is a crisis within a crisis within a crisis. The community suffers from insecurity and suffered under Ebola, and now may have to face COVID-19.”
In early March, an Ebola patient many hoped would be the last was discharged, and the outbreak was supposed to be officially declared over Sunday. But the WHO on Friday announced a new case in Beni.
The outbreak has claimed more than 2,260 lives since August 2018 – the second largest the world has ever seen, after the 2014-2016 outbreak in West Africa.
Still, there is some hope. Many of the tools used to fight Ebola – handwashing and social distancing chief among them – are also key to combating the coronavirus.
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