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Rory Stewart statement on number of Ebola cases in the Democratic Republic of the Congo

International Development Secretary comments as DRC Ministry of Health confirms that number of reported cases has exceeded 2,000.

A medic in protective clothing prepares a dose of Ebola vaccine in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Picture: UNICEF

A medic in protective clothing prepares a dose of Ebola vaccine in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Picture: UNICEF.

The number of reported cases of Ebola in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) has exceeded 2,000, the country’s Ministry of Health confirmed today (Tuesday 4 June).

The UK remains one of the largest donors to the outbreak and last week the Department for International Development announced new UK aid to help the International Federation of the Red Cross (IFRC) carry out safe and dignified burials.

International Development Secretary Rory Stewart said:

More than 2000 people have now contracted Ebola in the Democratic Republic of Congo. It is more important than ever that we grip this outbreak.

The UK continues to be at the forefront of the response, but this needs to be a global effort with others stepping up their support. This outbreak is potentially devastating for the region. It could spread easily to neighbouring provinces and even to neighbouring countries.

Last month I convened a meeting of experts and concluded as well as funding, we need more people on the ground to help coordinate efforts to contain this deadly disease. We need to act fast, and we need to act generously.

Last week, Minister for Africa Harriett Baldwin visited the DRC for the first time since the Ebola outbreak in North Kivu and Ituri provinces began last August.

ENDS

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Published 4 June 2019