Angola redoubles border surveillance with DRC over Ebola fears
Cape Town - The eastern Lunda Norte government is intensifying precautionary measures in the border areas with the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) to halt the import and spread of Ebola in Angolan territory.
The DRC government announced on Monday the emergence of a new Ebola outbreak in Wangata County, Mbandaka, in the province of Ecuador (north).
This epidemic is the worst in the history of the DRC and the second most serious worldwide. It hit Central Africa between 2014 and 2016, with 3,462 cases recorded and 2,279 deaths, according to World Health Organization (WHO) figures.
Although the outbreak has not yet spread to the provinces of Kassai Central, Kassai and Kwango in DRC, which share borders with Angola’s municipalities of Cuango, Cambulo, Cuilo, Lóvua and Caungula, the government is implementing prevention measures so as not to be caught by surprise, according to the United Nations Office for the Co-ordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA).
Lunda Norte governor Ernesto Muangala said the local government has enough biosecurity material and drugs to prevent contagion and possible positive cases of the epidemic.
He also said intervention health teams and epidemiological surveillance were being strengthened which, in addition to raising awareness about Ebola, will advise citizens living along the borders to continue to observe the Covid-19 pandemic prevention measures.
He added that the police were also stepping up their action in border areas to stop the entry and exit of Angolan and Congolese citizens in both countries.
Lunda Norte shares a 770km border with the DRC.