Armed attackers kill Ebola responders in eastern Congo, threatening outbreak

Ebola responders on ‘lockdown’ after Congo city’s unrest

Ebola fight partly suspended in Congo after deadly attacks on health response workers

In the last week, there were 7 cases of Ebola, down from a peak of over 120 per week in April 2019. He did not say how many people were killed in the attacks in Biakato Mines and Mangina.

Ebola response work was put on lockdown in Beni, dismaying health experts who say every attack hurts crucial efforts to contain the deadly virus. "We call on everyone who has a role to play to end this cycle of violence".

It was not immediately clear who the attackers were. There are numerous rebel groups operating in eastern Congo, which have complicated efforts to curb the spread of the disease, as has a local population suspicious of health workers.

"We are heartbroken that our worst fears have been realized", Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said on Twitter.

"With civil unrest and violence continuing in the city of Beni, one of the Ebola epidemic hotspots in eastern DRC, the WFP [World Food Program]-run UN Humanitarian Air Service is airlifting non-essential UN staff to Goma, capital of North Kivu province in eastern DRC", WFP spokesman Herve Verhoosel said at the UN briefing. Overall, health workers and infrastructure have been attacked 386 times with seven people killed and 77 wounded, Ryan said. "The world has lost fearless professionals".

The dead included a member of a vaccination team, two drivers and a police officer.

The African Times reports that armed groups have been targeting civilians and displaced populations in the region, killing scores of people and leaving others "caught in the crossfire", said Charlie Yaxley, the spokesman for the United Nations refugee agency. "My heart goes out to the family and friends of the first responders killed in these attacks", said Dr Matshidiso Moeti, WHO Regional Director for Africa.

The number of cases had been dropping in the yearlong outbreak which has killed more than 2,100 people and was declared a rare global health emergency earlier this year.

The WHO declared the outbreak an global health emergency in July, after the disease spread to Goma, a major urban centre near the border with Rwanda.

The organization has more than 800 staff on the ground supporting the government-led response together with national and worldwide partners. 22, 2019, there has been "a very unsafe and alarming development" in efforts to end the Ebola outbreak in eastern Congo, warning that the eruption of violence may re-ignite the epidemic.

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