About 32 new cases of the Ebola Virus Disease have been confirmed in the Democratic Republic of Congo since last week.
The World Health Organisation has said that of the new confirmed cases, 24 were from Beni, seven from Butembo and one from the Vuhovi area.
“Of the newly reported cases, 14 were known contacts of previously confirmed cases at the time of reporting, one was linked retrospectively to a transmission chain, and 17 remain under investigation. Four health workers, from various health posts and hospitals around Beni, were among the newly infected,” according to a WHO statement.
The global organisation has called the increase in cases concerning, especially as incidents of insecurity continue to impact both civilians and frontline workers.
They do however point out that there have been some successes realised by field teams conducting vaccinations and community engagement.
Over the past week, 14 people were discharged from Ebola treatment centres and reintegrated into their communities; while 81 patients have recovered to date since the outbreak began.
With ongoing transmission in communities in North Kivu, the risk of the outbreak spreading to other provinces in the DR Congo as well as neighbouring countries, remains very high. Alerts have been reported from the Tanganyika Province, Republic of the Congo, South Sudan, Uganda and Yemen.
Uganda meanwhile, will begin vaccinations in areas considered to be high risk in places neighbouring the DR Congo. Reports from The Independent in Kampala suggest that the WHO had been given the go-ahead to administer vaccines to officials who will be in contact with patients, or those involved in screenings or burials.
More than 11.9 million travellers have so far been screened at points of entry in the DR Congo in efforts to contain the outbreak, with help from the International Organization for Migration and US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.