GENEVA, May 17,
(Xinhua/GNA) - The Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) has had an "alarming
increase" in Ebola cases in recent weeks and the international community must
urgently up its response, the International Federation of Red Cross and Red
Crescent Societies (IFRC) said Thursday.
some successes in containing the outbreak, there has been an alarming increase
in new cases in recent weeks," said the IFRC's director of Health and
Care, Emanuele Capobianco, at a UN press conference here.
of the 1,671 cases recorded up to May 11, occurred during the last three weeks,
according to figures from the DRC's Ministry of Health cited by IFRC.
outbreak started in August 2018, more than 1,100 people have died, making this
the second deadliest Ebola outbreak in history, said the IFRC.
response faces a double jeopardy of insecurity and critical underfunding,"
security situation is complex and will require a range of responses, including
continued increased community engagement. However, the funding situation could
be fixed. We need more investment now."
not become entrenched in DRC's North Kivu and Ituri, nor should it be allowed
to spread to urban areas where it will be much more difficult to control, said
the IFRC official. "And we cannot allow it to cross international
borders," he said.
volunteers from the affected communities are continually engaging with them to
address fear, suspicion, and concerns about outside help as well as the
efficacy of the Ebola response.
More than 5,000
burials have now been requested since the outbreak started, and the way they
take place helps avert the spreading of the disease to communities who have
shown resistance to responders.
dignified burials are important because of the dangers presented by
Ebola-infected bodies," said Capobianco.
during the 2013-16 West Africa outbreak, 60 percent of all Ebola cases in
Guinea were linked to traditional burials. In parts of Sierra Leone, this
figure climbed to 80 percent.
Congo, we have trained more than 1,500 volunteers to conduct burials in a
manner that is safe, dignified and culturally sensitive. They are critical to
preventing thousands of infections and saving the lives of friends and families
in their communities," said Capobianco.
The Ebola virus
is highly contagious and causes a range of symptoms including fever, vomiting,
diarrhea, generalized pain or malaise and in many cases internal and external