A new case of the Ebola virus has been confirmed in eastern Congo, just three days before the country expected to declare an end to the outbreak, the World Health Organization said Friday.
The new case was confirmed in Beni, a community that had been an epicentre of the second-deadliest Ebola outbreak in history.
It had been nearly 42 days without a case, and WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said Congo’s declaration had been planned for Monday. “We have been preparing for and expecting more cases,” he said, reflecting the caution that mixed with optimism in recent days.
“I am sad,” WHO Africa chief Matshidiso Moeti said in a tweet.
Health workers in Congo had been awaiting the end of one global public health emergency — Ebola — while bracing for the arrival of another: the coronavirus. Already, two coronavirus cases have been reported in Beni.