The deadly outbreak of Ebola in the east of the Democratic Republic of Congo should be completed within six months, said World Health Organization Chief on Thursday.
Seven months since the outbreak in DRC North Kivu (WHO) General Director Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus told reporters that there are clear signs that the virus is "shrinking".
"Our goal now is to stop the virus in the next six months," he said in Geneva, but warned riots in the affected region could reverse the progress made.
"It's always good to plan beyond the horizon to prepare for eventualities," he said, optimistic that massive efforts to contain the outbreak will work.  The ongoing Ebola outbreak, the 1
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It has claimed 584 casualties from nearly 1,000 allegedly infected individuals, the WHO said.
The security forces in the eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo, a region struggling with rebel fighters, have dramatic effects The response has been hampered by numerous attacks on Ebola treatment centers.
The medical organization "Doctors Without Borders" has also raised the alarm against increasingly "toxic" relationships with local communities, whose resilience to Ebola response has also fueled the spread.  MSF pointed out that 40 percent of deaths from the extremely contagious virus occur in communities and not in Ebola treatment centers.
– Contracting –
"The Ebola reaction does not bring the epidemic under control. MSF chief Joanne Lieu told reporters last week in Geneva.
But Tedros denied on Thursday that this was the case.
"That's not true," he said. "They can not say it will fail when the outbreak shrinks, it contracts."
He emphasized that the virus had been trapped in North Kivu and Ituri for the past seven months.
"It has not spread to other parts of the country and it has not spread in the neighborhood countries," he said, adding that the transfer had been stopped in various places, including Beni and Mangina.
"Cases are now falling back in certain geographic areas," he said.
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Tedros also emphasized that the number of new cases has been halved since January have an average of 25 new cases reported each week compared to 50 at the beginning of the year.
However, he acknowledged that violence, civil unrest and popular resistance, especially in Butembo, was a challenge in which the virus is now widely spread alongside Katwa.
I do not want to undermine the risk because it may be revived if the security situation continues to worsen, "he said, acknowledging that Ebola still has a chance to move to other parts of the DRC to expand its neighboring countries.