Rapid response teams have swung into action to prevent further transmission after a second case of Ebola was detected in DR Congo's border city of Goma, according to the World Health Organisation (WHO) Director-General Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.
Goma shares borders with Rwanda's Rubavu town in Western Province.
No case has been reported on Rwandan soil yet, and, Tedros last week commended Rwanda on its ongoing Ebola preparedness efforts.
“Sad news coming from Goma, #DRC - the second #Ebola case has been confirmed. There is no indication at the moment that this person is linked to the first case identified in this city on 14 July. Rapid response teams have swung into action to prevent further transmission,” Tedros tweeted on Wednesday morning.
He added: “Over 5000 #HealthWorkers have been vaccinated against #Ebola in Goma, #DRC. Health centres have been provided with training and equipment to improve infection prevention and control. Screenings at border crossings have been reinforced & 24h monitoring implemented at the airport.”
Sad news coming from Goma, #DRC - the second #Ebola case has been confirmed. There is no indication at the moment that this person is linked to the first case identified in this city on 14 July. Rapid response teams have swung into action to prevent further transmission. pic.twitter.com/zrcGvfn3NX— Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus (@DrTedros) July 31, 2019
According to the WHO boss, the risk of national Ebola spread is high.
The population in Goma, he said, is highly mobile, “so this is an event we have anticipated.”
Tedros added: “This is why we have been doing intensive preparedness work in Goma so that any new case is identified and responded to immediately.”
More than 1,600 people have died of Ebola in DR Congo since the outbreak began in August 2018.
Over a week ago, the WHO called the outbreak a public health emergency of international concern (PHEIC), urging international community to step up its support for response.
The PHEIC is a formal declaration by the UN agency in charge of world health matters of an extraordinary event which is determined to constitute a public health risk to other States through the international spread of disease.
The decision to declare a public health emergency of international concern potentially requires a coordinated international response.
It came a few days after the first case of Ebola was detected in Goma – which is so close to the Rwandan border.