Two people cured of Ebola using two experimental drugs have
been released from a treatment centre in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo
and reunited with their families.
They had been among a group of four diagnosed in Goma, the
largest city affected by the outbreak that has so far killed at least 1,800
people. The two others in that group have since died.
Scientists however are hopeful that Ebola may soon be a
preventable and treatable disease after promising clinical trials of two drugs
which, according to expert Dr Sabue Mulangu, saw 60% of the 681 patients
With early diagnosis and treatment, however, more than 90% of infected people can survive if they are given REGN-EB3 and mAb114, researchers say.
These two drugs were developed using antibodies harvested from survivors of Ebola. Trials were then co-ordinated by the World Health
Organization, and its panel has now recommended the treatments for use by all
Most Rwandans are not being allowed to cross to Goma in the
Democratic Republic of Congo over fears of spreading Ebola.
This is despite the two countries’ health ministers agreeing
on Tuesday that economic activities should not be hindered by cases of the
disease in Goma, a city of about two million people and a regional commercial
The outbreak in eastern DR Congo has killed more than 1,800
people since last year.
On the Rwandan side of the border, only Rwandans with
official work IDs are allowed through, which is affecting many of the
Congolese citizens are not being prevented from crossing into
The closure for Rwandans is impacting lives of thousands,
a journalist at the border has told the BBC.
Josephine Nyirahabimana, who lives in Gisenyi on the Rwandan
side, said for two days she had not been able to take her vegetables over to
sell in Goma.
“Borders are blocked for Rwandans, Congolese are crossing
in, we are asking why?" she said.
“If it is about Ebola, aren’t Congolese also going to bring
it in Rwanda?”
Matindo Nsengiyumva, a builder from Gisenyi who goes to Goma
to work on building sites, is also angry that he has been prevented from making
his living: “We live by our arms per day… how do they think we are going
Congo medics arrested over death of WHO Ebola doctor
Three doctors have been arrested in the Democratic Republic of Congo over the killing of a World Health Organization (WHO)
military prosecutor has said.
doctor Richard Mouzoko was shot dead in an attack in April at a hospital in the eastern city of Butembo, an Ebola epicentre.
The three will be prosecuted for "terrorism" and "criminal conspiracy", prosecutor Lieutenant-Colonel Jean-Baptiste Kumbu told AFP.
He said militiamen
involved in attacking treatment centres, including Butembo hospital, had under interrogation implicated four doctors in planning the raids.
The prosecutor said the fourth doctor was still at large.
He provided no further
details about what their
motive might have been.
The WHO said DR Mouzoko had been deployed as part of a medical team to help tackle the Ebola outbreak which started last August in North Kivu.
In a letter to
the mayor of Butembo, a group representing local doctors said it was
"indignant" over the arrests, which it said were crippling vital
medical services in the area.
It said the doctors should be released on bail and that medical workers would strike if they were not freed within 48 hours.
military prosecutor dismissed their demands as "out of the question".
More than 1,800
people have died from the Ebola virus in the past year.
Health workers' attempts to contain the outbreak has been hindered by mistrust and violence - and according to AFP seven have been murdered and 50 seriously injured.
Lt-Col Kumbu said a total of 54 people
are currently under arrest in connection with attacks on
Ebola treatment centres.
The mining company Glencore is planning to
halt production at the world's largest cobalt mine at a time when the price for
the key metal used in electric car batteries has fallen significantly because of an
increase in supply.
The Swiss-based firm said in a statement that the Mutanda mine in the south of the Democratic Republic of Congo was no longer economically viable in the long term.
Glencore has also been affected by a new mining law in DR Congo which has meant a
significant increase in taxes.