JOHANNESBURG – Congo's Health Minister called it a "dark day" for anyone who fought the deadly Ebola outbreak after rebels shot and killed two doctors with the Congolese army who helped health officials.
It appeared to be the first In this outbreak, which takes place in an area that was compared to a war zone, time health workers were killed by rebels. Several rebel groups are active in the far northeast of the Congo.
Health ministers said late Saturday night that the May-May rebels jumped out of the woods and opened fire on the unarmed agents, with a quick reaction force at an entrance to the city of Butembo [1
Health officials fired daily shots at this outbreak, conducted Ebola containment work under armed escort, and had to stop their work until sunset to reduce the risk of attack
The number of confirmed Ebola cases has now reached 200, including 117 deaths. Auxiliaries were alarmed by the uncertainty and sometimes the resistance of the population led to more than twice as many new cases.
The Congolese Ministry of Health reported "numerous aggression" against health care workers, and two Red Cross volunteers were severely injured in confronting unscrupulous community members in a region traumatized by decades of fighting and exposed for the first time to an Ebola outbreak
"Health agents are not a target for armed groups," said Health Minister Oly Ilunga on Saturday. "Our agents will continue to campaign every day to fulfill the mission entrusted to them, they are true heroes and we will continue to take all necessary measures to ensure that they can do their job safely."
A deadly rebel attack on civilians in Beni last month forced the suspension of Ebola containment for days and the effects are still seen. Many of the new confirmed cases this month, including six on Saturday, were in Beni, where most of the Ebola work is based in this outbreak.
On Wednesday, the World Health Organization said it was "deeply concerned" by the ongoing outbreak, but that the situation can not yet be declared a global emergency. To be declared a global emergency, an outbreak must be an "extraordinary event" that crosses borders and requires a coordinated response.
Confirmed cases of this eruption were found near the heavily used border with Uganda.
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