Ebola is real, Congo president tells sceptical population
GOMA, Democratic Republic of Congo (Reuters) - Congolese President Felix Tshisekedi on Tuesday implored people in areas hit by the nation's worst-ever Ebola outbreak to accept the disease is real and trust health workers. Mistrust of first responders and widespread misinformation propagated by some community leaders has led many in affected areas of eastern Democratic Republic of Congo to refuse vaccinations.
GOMA, Democratic Republic of Congo (Reuters) - Congolese President Felix Tshisekedi on Tuesday implored people in areas hit by the nation's worst-ever Ebola outbreak to accept the disease is real and trust health workers.
Mistrust of first responders and widespread misinformation propagated by some community leaders has led many in affected areas of eastern Democratic Republic of Congo to refuse vaccinations. Instead, they turn to traditional healers, whose clinics have contributed to the haemorrhagic fever's spread.
"It is not an imaginary disease," Tshisekedi said after arriving in the city of Beni on his first tour of eastern Congo since being inaugurated in January.
"If we follow the instructions, in two or three months Ebola will be finished," he optimistically told a crowd after having his temperature taken and washing his hands, as required of all incoming passengers to Beni airport.
Congo has suffered 10 outbreaks of Ebola, which causes severe vomiting, diarrhoea and bleeding, since the virus was discovered there in 1976. The current one has seen 1,264 confirmed and probable cases and 814 deaths since it was declared last August.
It is surpassed only by the 2013-2016 outbreak in West Africa, in which more than 28,000 cases were reported and more than 11,000 people died.
Following a series of attacks on treatment centres by unidentified assailants in February and March, the current outbreak is now spreading at its fastest rate yet.
More than 100 cases were confirmed last week.
Tshisekedi, who won a disputed election last December to succeed Joseph Kabila, also called on Tuesday for the disarmament of dozens of militia that operate in the east and whose presence has complicated the Ebola response.
"The time of armed groups is over," he said. "The new government is reaching out to these children of the country to surrender arms through disarmament programmes."
(Reporting by Fiston Mahamba and Stanis Bujakera; Writing by Giulia Paravicini; Editing by Aaron Ross and Andrew Cawthorne)
This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.
Find latest and upcoming tech gadgets online on Tech2 Gadgets. Get technology news, gadgets reviews & ratings. Popular gadgets including laptop, tablet and mobile specifications, features, prices, comparison.
KHARTOUM (Reuters) - An International Criminal Court delegation is to visit Sudan to discuss the cases of ousted president Omar al-Bashir and other former officials, the government said on Saturday. The delegation, led by prosecutor Fatou Bensouda, will discuss "cooperation" with Sudan over the wanted men, the government said in a statement.
HONG KONG (Reuters) - A Hong Kong protester dubbed "Grandma Wong" said on Saturday that Chinese authorities kept her in custody for a month and a half across the border in Shenzhen, where she allegedly suffered mental abuse, and then prevented from coming back for over a year. Grey-haired and bespectacled Alexandra Wong, 64, had been a familiar face at anti-government protests in Hong Kong last year, often waving a large British flag, but she disappeared from the streets around August last year
WARSAW (Reuters) - Polish prosecutors said on Saturday they had brought fraud charges against a prominent lawyer and former deputy prime minister who is a vocal critic of the government, and prohibited him from leaving Poland or practising law. Prosecutors also denied mistreating Roman Giertych, who fainted during his detention on Thursday and is currently defending billionaire bank owner Leszek Czarnecki, a thorn in the government's side who is suspected of cheating clients of his Idea Bank.