By NewsDesk  @infectiousdiseasenews

The Democratic Republic of the Congo’s (DRC) 11th Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) outbreak that started on June 1 this year in Equateur Province continues to increase as health officials now report 56 cases in six health zones to date.

Ebola virus/CDC

Of the 56 cases reported so far, 53 are confirmed and three are probable. In the last three weeks alone, 28 cases have been confirmed.

21 deaths have been reported.

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The growth in the outbreak concerns the World Health Organization (WHO)–“Responding to Ebola in the midst of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic is complex, but we must not let COVID-19 distract us from tackling other pressing health threats,” said Dr Matshidiso Moeti, WHO Regional Director for Africa. “The current Ebola outbreak is running into headwinds because cases are scattered across remote areas in dense rain forests. This makes for a costly response as ensuring that responders and supplies reach affected populations is extremely challenging.”

WHO reports the ongoing Ebola response is also facing funding shortfalls. So far WHO has mobilized US$ 1.75 million, which will last only a few more weeks. Additional support is needed to rapidly scale up the efforts by WHO, the DRC health authorities and partners to ensure all the affected communities receive key services including health education and community engagement, vaccination, testing, contact tracing and treatment.