UNITED NATIONS, May 14 (Xinhua) — Some 1,705 probable and confirmed cases of Ebola have been recorded in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) since the outbreak was declared in August last year, a UN spokesman said on Tuesday.
Farhan Haq, deputy spokesman for UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, said that 1,122 people have died since then, comprising two-thirds of reported cases.
According to the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), only half of the 148 million U.S. dollars requested for the Ebola response through July has been funded, Haq said.
The overall Humanitarian Response Plan for the DRC is critically underfunded, with only 12 percent of the 1.65 billion dollars covered, seriously undermining the response, he added.
According to a recent report from Assessment Capacities Project, attacks and clashes between armed groups and Congolese security forces since May triggered the displacement of more than 12,000 people in Nord Kivu and Ituri provinces in eastern DRC.
Displacement in Ebola-affected territories could facilitate the spreading of the disease, the report warned. “IDPs resorting to informal crossings to Uganda, without screening, increase the risk of Ebola spreading to neighboring countries.”
The Ebola virus is highly contagious and causes a range of symptoms including fever, vomiting, diarrhea, generalized pain or malaise and in many cases internal and external bleeding.