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WHO decide not to declare global emergency

Published on 17/06/19 at 10:40am

The WHO has decided not to declare the Ebola crisis in the Congo a global emergency.

While the WHO said that the Ebola crisis is “very much an emergency” in the region, the UN agency said it did not pose a global threat.

The outbreak has killed more than 1,400 people – mainly in the Congo – making it the second biggest Ebola outbreak to ever have occurred.

The outbreak was found to have spread across the border into Uganda after a five year old boy was found to be infected with Ebola after travelling to the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).

The WHO has however decided not to declare a Public Health Emergency of International Concern – one of the biggest measures the WHO can take.

The agency has only declared a global emergency four times in the past including during a previous Ebola outbreak in which 11,000 people died.

In declaring a global health emergency would see significantly more money and resources focused on tackling the outbreak.

Dr Preben Aavitsland, the acting chair of the WHO's emergency committee, said efforts on the ground “would not be enhanced” by declaring a global emergency.

“This is not a global emergency, it is an emergency in DRC, it is a severe emergency,” Dr Aavitsland said.

Louis Goss

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