Congo’s latest Ebola outbreak
taking place in a war zone
BENI, Congo (AP) — In a new reminder of the dangers in containing an Ebola outbreak in a war zone, suspected rebels killed seven people overnight in northeastern Congo and sent residents fleeing, an official said Saturday.
Global health officials have warned that combating this virus outbreak is complicated by multiple armed groups in the mineral-rich region and a restless population that includes 1 million displaced people and scores of refugees leaving for nearby Uganda every week.
The insecurity means health workers might have to change a vaccination strategy that proved successful in Congo’s previous Ebola outbreak, the World Health Organization’s emergency preparedness chief Dr. Peter Salama said Saturday.
The so-called “ring vaccination” approach of first vaccinating health workers, contacts of Ebola victims and their contacts might have to give way to the approach of vaccinating everyone in a certain geographic area such as a village or neighborhood. That would require a larger number of vaccine doses.
Vaccinations began Wednesday in the current outbreak, which was declared on Aug. 1 and has killed 11 people in the densely populated region. WHO has said more than 3,000 Ebola vaccine doses are available in Congo.
Romanians protest govt corruption
for 2nd straight day
BUCHAREST, Romania (AP) — Tens of thousands of Romanians held another anti-government protest Saturday a day after a previous demonstration turned violent, leaving 455 people in need of medical treatment.
Protesters carrying Romanian, European Union and other flags rallied Saturday outside government offices in Bucharest, the capital — the same place where the protest Friday had degenerated into violence.
“Have no fear! Romanians will rise up!” and “You thieves!” they yelled. Protesters blew vuvuzelas and shone the words “Down with the government” on the government offices.
Critics say Romania has lost ground in fighting corruption since the ruling Social Democratic Party assumed power in 2016. They are urging the government to resign and call a new election.
Sorin Radu, who works in IT, said he was protesting “because we have a government where many are corrupt.
“The people who rule have no connection with ordinary people. I’m here to try and change something,” he said.