Addis Ababa, Feb. 11, 2021 (Xinhua/NAN) The African Union (AU) Commission on Wednesday emphasised a double burden on health systems across Africa due to a new Ebola outbreak and the still-raging Coronavirus pandemic (COVID-19).
The AU Commission, through the Africa Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, has started discussions with the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) on how to support its response to the 12th Ebola outbreak declared by the DRC on Sunday in Butembo Area of North Kivu Province, the AU said.
“Africa CDC recognises the burden of responding to this new outbreak while at the same time responding to the COVID-19 pandemic,” said an AU statement, adding that the pandemic “alone has placed a heavy toll on countries and has already overstretched health systems globally.”
It also stressed that the Africa CDC will provide additional support by deploying rapid responders to carry out laboratory testing, contact tracing and follow-up, infection prevention and control, risk communication, and community engagement.
Some of the frontline workers who were deployed to cope with a previous Ebola outbreak in the DRC in June 2020 are currently supporting the response to the COVID-19 pandemic in the country and are already working closely with national Ebola response efforts to monitor the situation, it added.
The DRC’s Ministry of Public Health is currently working with partners to establish coordination and response mechanisms that will help contain the outbreak as quickly as possible.
A total of 70 contacts have already been registered and are being followed up. (Xinhua/NAN)