BENI, Congo (AP) — Congo’s president said Tuesday that he wants an Ebola virus outbreak that already has become the country’s second-deadliest contained in less than three months, although some health experts estimate it could take twice as long.
President Felix Tshisekedi set the timeline while visiting eastern Congo, the center of an Ebola outbreak that the national Health Ministry says has caused 800 deaths out of 1,200 confirmed cases.
The cases of people sickened by Ebola are from a volatile area near the border with Rwanda and Uganda, where rebel groups and bouts of community resistance complicate efforts to contain the outbreak.
More than 100,000 people have received an experimental but effective Ebola vaccine, a bright spot amid the challenges. Tshisekedi’s visit came a few days after the World Health Organization decided the outbreak didn’t yet arise to a global health emergency.
Congo’s president vowed more protection for health workers and asked for cooperation from the region’s people. Years of deadly rebel attacks and instability have made residents wary of both outsiders and the government.