Hundreds of refugees went to Uganda from the Democratic Republic of Congo days after troubled presidential elections in that country, a Red Cross official said Wednesday, intensifying concern over possible cross-border spread of ebola. Meanwhile, the World Health Organization chief said he had asked the experimental vaccine supplier to produce more.
The refugee count started on the day after Sunday's vote and since about ten people are coming at the same time, Irene Nakasiit, spokesman for the Red Cross in Uganda, said.
Some Congolese attempts to cross the border were forced to return after they had resisted the efforts of Ugandan health officials who had checked people for the Ebola, she said.
The DRC government has caused the outbreak of ebola in the northeast of the country due to an impending decision to ban the estimated 1 million voters in the election. There have been protests, with some people who have destroyed the facilities for answering the ebolus, and some groups of help have been forced to suspend the work days.
The Internet has been cut off in DRC this week in the apparent efforts of the government to prevent speculation of social media outcomes, while the opposition and observers reported on multiple election problems.
The Internet outbreak also had an impact on the efforts to combat Ebola, and the DRC's Health Ministry said on Wednesday "technical problems" due to the delay in sending a daily outbreak report.
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More than 600 cases of ebola have been reported, and more than 360 confirmed deaths since August. Breaking is the second most deadly in history.
The outbreak was difficult to control in the midst of armed violence and community protests, and violence increased "by intensity and frequency," the head of the World Health Organization said on Wednesday.
And yet there is "a reason for hope" the outbreak will be under control as soon as possible, said Tedros Adhan Ghebreyesus in Uganda, Kampala. He spent the New Year in DRC.
In the midst of protest-related protests, Tedros warned that "long-term uncertainty" in DRC could lead to an increase in the number of new cases of ebola.
Some of the cases of ebola in this outbreak have been reported near the border with Uganda. For months, Ugandan officials have subjected all transitory official border crossings to compulsory probation of ebola.
Ebola virus is transmitted by direct contact with the fluid of the infected person.
More than 50,000 people received experimental vaccine. Tedros said that enough vaccine doses were available "but at the same time we have already asked the supplier to produce more".