In an update on the Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) outbreak in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) that began in early April, WHO Deputy Director-General for Emergency Preparedness and Response, Peter Salama reported the number of cases as of June 4 is as follows:
37 confirmed cases, 14 probable cases and 7 suspected cases for a total of 58 cases, including 27 deaths.
The outbreak has remained localized to the three health zones initially affected: Iboko, Bikoro and Wangata. As of 31 May 2018, a total of 880 contacts remain under active follow-up.
WHO announced yesterday that a comprehensive strategic response plan for points of entry has been developed in collaboration with partners. The aim of the plan is to avoid the spread of the disease to other provinces or at the international level.
The plan includes mapping strategic points of entry and the locations of areas where travellers congregate and interact with the local population, and therefore are at risk of Ebola virus disease transmission based on population movement. The plan also includes implementing health measures at the identified points of entry/traveller congregation points, such as risk communication and community engagement, temperature checks, provision of hand hygiene and sanitation materials, and the development of alert, investigation and referral procedures.
As of 18 May 2018, a total of 115 points of entry/traveller congregation points have been listed and mapped along cordon sanitaires in Mbandaka, Bikoro, Iboko, larger Equateur Province, and Kinshasa. Of these, some 30 points of entry have been prioritized for in-depth assessments and for implementing relevant prevention, detection and control measures. These include major ports and congregation points along the Congo river, as well as the two airports and the international port in Kinshasa. Areas of large gatherings such as markets are also being assessed. Along the Congo river there are many private smaller ports and points of congregation with a low volume of traffic. Proper screening cannot be conducted at all 115 points, and the efforts currently focus on the 30 prioritized points of entries/ traveller congregation points, as well as on risk communications activities and community engagement.
Entry and exit screening measures have been implemented at the Mbandaka airport, as well as in some terminals of the Kinshasa international airport. These include travel health declaration, visual observation for symptoms, temperature check and travel health promotion measures, as well as procedures for referral of suspect cases.
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