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The African Union warns that travel restrictions would affect the Democratic Republic of the Congo's Ebola response News



A high-level health officer from the African Union (AU) warned against curbing the trip to Democratic Republic of the Congo, fearing that the Ebola outbreak in the region may continue to spread in the region More than 1,700 outbreaks of Ebola People have died – more than two-thirds of those affected – since it occurred last August in the eastern provinces of North Kivu and Ituri.

Together, the two provinces of Rwanda, Uganda and South Sudan border each other.

"We want to ensure that the international community and African member states do not impose travel restrictions on people entering or exiting the Democratic Republic of the Congo, said John Nkengasong, director of the African Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC ) of the AU, on Friday Reporter in the AU headquarters in the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa

"Do not panic"

On Wednesday, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the epidemic just a few days later as a state of emergency Public Health of International Interest (PHEIC) The virus spread for the first time in a large city and rapidly increased the transmission rate.

A PHEIC is a rare name used only for the most serious epidemics and has only been applied four times in the past.

The Ab Such a declaration usually increases global attention and can lead to an increase in international aid.

The WHO said the move recognized the " possible increased national and regional risks and the need for intensification and coordination action to address them", but also said no country should be able to close its borders or travel or Restrict trade due to Ebola.

Closing the borders with the Democratic Republic of Congo could make it more difficult for people to move and medical care in or out of the affected area, potentially hampering the efforts of the response teams to end the epidemic.

"In essence, for the rest of the world, the main recommendation is: support to the Democratic Republic of the Congo and do not panic," said WHO spokeswoman Margaret Harris on Friday. "Do not close borders, no travel and trade restrictions, do not panic."

"Perfect Storm"

On Sunday, the DRC's Ministry of Health registered the first Ebola case in Goma, a city of about two million people in North Kivu and near the Rwandan border.

Goma has a port connected to the city of Bukavu in the neighboring province of South Kivu, as well as an airport with flights to the capital, Kinshasa, Uganda's Entebbe and Addis Ababa.

Apart from the case in Goma and three deadly cases in Uganda last month, the outbreak was limited to other, mostly rural regions in North Kivu and Ituri.

The WHO said on Thursday outside the Democratic Republic of the Congo, there were currently no cases in which police conducted hand washing and fever checks on the country's border with Rwanda.

Efforts to end the epidemic, however, have been repeatedly hampered by a "perfect storm" of regional insecurity in the East Democratic Republic of the Congo and deep mistrust of the community of the crisis and of the authorities.

Unidentified attackers killed two Ebola health care workers near Mukulia in northern Kivu last week, most recently on a series of attacks on medical personnel or health facilities. In the midst of the riots, health workers have vaccinated about 1

60,000 people. The vaccine is experimental, but is estimated to have an efficacy of of 97.5 percent and can protect a person for up to 12 months, according to WHO.

Al Jazeera and news agencies


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