Congo's Coronavirus Battle: Life After Ebola
As Ebola outbreak fades out, Congo prepares for COVID-19
Compared to other parts of the world the coronavirus was slow to reach the continent of Africa. But the infection is now spreading to areas that have only just overcome the deadly Ebola disease.
The number of confirmed coronavirus cases has grown to more than 13,000 in Africa, with around 700 deaths so far. This comes at a time when many hospitals are releasing their last Ebola patients. The fight against that disease has been long and difficult, partially due to political circumstances. "You have more than a hundred armed groups operating in that area. So to reach the most remote areas was extremely difficult for our teams", says Dr Ibrahima Socé Fall, the WHO's Assistant DG for Emergency Response. However, after extensive work with local communities, Ebola has now been virtually eliminated. "When they had a center that they trusted and they felt connected to, it made such a difference in the transmission in the community". The region's bitter experience has given medics hope that they can tackle this new threat. Doctor Katson Maliro says the fight against Ebola has actually prepared the population for the coronavirus outbreak: "COVID-19 is a disease of contact, just that. Without contact, there's no contamination. Just like Ebola."FULL SYNOPSIS