Congo’s Ministry of Health said Thursday the number of confirmed Ebola cases has reached 30, including 8 deaths in the 3 affected health zones in the country’s Equateur province.
The ministry gave the toll after surveillance teams in the capital, Kinshasa, were deployed along the Congo River to monitor people coming in there.
Health brigades have also been set up at various entry points to Kinshasa and other cities as part of prevention, said the World Health Organization’s Congo representative Allarangar Yakouide.
“We want to ensure that ports and airports are effectively protected,” he said.
A wave of panic hit Kinshasa on Wednesday, after rumors of an Ebola case admitted to the Kinshasa General Hospital.
But Yakouide quickly denied it, saying that no cases are confirmed in the capital.
He warned against spreading false reports which “could create panic and undermine the effectiveness of the response to the Ebola outbreak.”
As of Thursday, Congo’s health ministry reports a total of 58 cases of hemorrhagic fever: 30 confirmed Ebola cases, 14 probable and 14 suspected.
It said that it was unable to confirm if a death in Bikoro was Ebola after the local residents refused to allow officials to take blood samples.
Border health officers monitored passengers arriving at Ngobila Beach in Kinshasa, which serves as the crossing from Brazzaville, Republic of Congo into Congo.
Health workers on Wednesday began registering passengers arriving, and took their temperatures.
“We ask all those who work in different services here at the beach, even state agents all must be behind the Health Department … if it (Ebola) reaches your neighbor, it can also reach you,” said Alphose Buka, a state official working at the beach.
Health workers detained a woman who did not have a vaccination card.
Antho Buka, who sells meat and fish at the Wahi market at a port in Kinshasa said she was surprised residents in Kinshasa are worried about Ebola, since it is in the northwest Equateur Province.
“Our relatives in Mbandaka have informed us that Ebola is in Bikoro, but here in Kinshasa, we do not have recorded cases, not even.”
Georgette Boluka also said that with all the teams going into Bikoro and the Equateur Province to fight Ebola, she hopes it will not spread.
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