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WHO calls emergency meeting to address Ebola outbreak in Congo

by UNTV News   |   Posted on Friday, May 18th, 2018

 

The World Health Organization (WHO) will convene an emergency meeting today to consider the international risk of the Ebola outbreak in Congo.

WHO official Peter Salama says the UN body would decide whether to declare a public health emergency of international concern. Salama explains doing so would trigger more international involvement, mobilizing sources and resource.

The UN body made the decision to call for an emergency meeting after an Ebola virus case was confirmed in Mbandaka, which has a population of one million.

There have already been 44 suspected, probable or confirmed cases of Ebola in Congo, and 23 people have died. — Reuters

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Congo’s Ebola outbreak to last at least six more months, WHO says

by UNTV News   |   Posted on Wednesday, November 14th, 2018

Health workers treating Ebola patient in treatment unit | REUTERS

The Ebola outbreak in northeastern Democratic Republic of Congo, which has already killed more than 200 people, is expected to last until mid-2019, a senior World Health Organization official said on Tuesday (November 13).

WHO emergency response chief Peter Salama said the WHO is “planning on at least another six months before we can declare this outbreak over.”

The outbreak in Congo’s North Kivu province has caused 333 confirmed and probable cases of the deadly virus and is now the worst in Congo’s history.

The location of the disease is perhaps the most difficult the WHO has ever encountered, due to a dense and mobile local population, insecurity caused by two armed groups, and its spread by transmission in health centers, Salama said.

One of the major drivers of the spread of the disease was due to people visiting the several hundred “tradi-modern” health centers in the town of Beni, he said. — Reuters

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Age, health of Imelda Marcos to be considered in her arrest — PNP

by UNTV News   |   Posted on Monday, November 12th, 2018

 

IMAGE_UNTV_NEWS_083117_imelda marcos

FILE PHOTO: Imelda Marcos

QUEZON CITY, Philippines — The Philippine National Police (PNP) Custodial Center is prepared in case the court decides to place former first lady Imelda Marcos under PNP’s custody.

However, PNP chief PDG Oscar Albayalde said they have not been notified yet for advance coordination with the court regarding the release of the arrest warrant against Marcos.

Albayalde added that in consideration of Marcos’ age and health condition, they have not ordered personnel of the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) to wait at the gates of Congress like in the case of Senator Antonio Trillanes.

Nevertheless, the PNP Chief has directed the CIDG director to lead the arrest upon release of the warrant.

At present, Marcos is facing minimum of 6 years in prison and perpetual disqualification from holding public office after the Sandiganbayan found her guilty on seven counts of graft.

However, the former first lady may still post bail for her provisional liberty as graft is a bailable case. — Lea Ylagan

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WHO sees Congo’s Ebola outbreak lasting 3-4 months at least

by UNTV News   |   Posted on Friday, October 12th, 2018

Congolese officials and the World Health Organization officials wear protective suits as they participate in a training against the Ebola virus near the town of Beni in North Kivu province of the Democratic Republic of Congo, August 11, 2018. REUTERS/Samuel Mambo

Democratic Republic of Congo’s Ebola outbreak is expected to last several months and could spread at any time to Uganda or Rwanda, which are well prepared but have not approved the use of a vaccine, the World Health Organization said on Thursday (October 11).

But the most concerning area is the city of Beni in Congo’s North Kivu province, where dozens of people who may have been exposed to the deadly disease are hiding from health workers, emergency response chief Peter Salama told Reuters.

The outbreak has now caused 194 cases and 122 deaths, and two-thirds of cases in the past month have been in and around Beni, where the Ebola response was disrupted last month by a spate of attacks by armed groups and a period of official mourning.

The next few days will tell if the recent wave of infections in Beni is over, he said, depending on the security situation and the local community’s willingness to support the response.

Many of the new cases are already known to health workers as people who have had contact with recorded Ebola patients. On average, 80-90 percent of people with potential Ebola exposure is being monitored on a daily basis.

But a smaller number, around 40 or more, are “actively avoiding follow-up” and have not been found for days on end, increasing the risk of the disease spreading, Salama said. More than 90 percent of those people were in Beni, he added.

Some Ebola victims are suspicious of health workers, fearing that hospitalization is a death sentence – despite the obvious risks of missing out on treatment – while families believe that bodies may not be returned for traditional burials.

Local authorities in Beni have threatened people who harbor suspected patients with three-month jail sentences. — Reuters

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