Congo has declared an end to its 11th Ebola outbreak, this one in western Equateur province, nearly six months after cases were reported and amid the rise of COVID-19 in the Central African nation. This is the first time Congo is Ebola-free in about two and a half years.
Congo's minister of health, Dr. Eteni Longondo, along with the World Health Organization made the official declaration Wednesday with no new cases recorded in more than 48 days.
More than 55 deaths were recorded, 119 confirmed cases and 75 recoveries since the declaration of the outbreak on June 1, according to the WHO and the health ministry.
The outbreak in western Congo emerged shortly before eastern Congo marked an official end on June 25 to the second deadliest Ebola outbreak in history, which killed 2,280 people over nearly two years. The two strains were not related, officials said.
"This 11th Ebola virus epidemic has had the particularity of spreading much more to river and lake health zones," the health minister said Wednesday.
Longondo called on the population to remain vigilant and continue to observe hygiene measures "to avoid the resurgence of Ebola but also to prevent the spread of coronavirus which is raging in the country."