Central African Republic admits it is ‘not prepared’ for Ebola amid fears the killer outbreak in the neighbouring Congo could spread over the border

Friday, July 26, 2019
By Paul Martin

The nation’s Health Minister warned the risks the virus may spread are high
Pierre Somse said exchanges between the two countries are ‘very intense’
Almost 1,760 people have died of Ebola since the first case last August

By STEPHEN MATTHEWS
DAILYMAIL.COM
26 July 2019

The Central African Republic has admitted it is ‘not prepared’ for Ebola amid fears the outbreak may spread from Democratic Republic of Congo.

The nation’s Health Minister warned the risks the lethal virus – one of the deadliest pathogens known to science – could be passed over the border are high.

Pierre Somse said economic and human exchanges are ‘very intense’ on the 1085-mile (1,746km) border between the two neighbouring countries.

It comes a week after the World Health Organization declared the outbreak, nearing its year anniversary, to be an international health emergency.

Almost 1,760 people have died of Ebola since the first case cropped up last August, including three in Uganda when the virus spread there last month.

Fears have also been raised that the epidemic could reach South Sudan, considered to the most vulnerable country neighbouring the DRC.

Mr Somse told a news conference: ‘Our livestock farmers sell their cattle in the DR Congo. Rebel groups and poachers go back and forth across the border.’

He added: ‘The risks are high.’ A WHO official said the CAR needs to ‘formulate a complex response with an under-funded healthcare system’.

The former French colony, though rich in natural resources, is one of the world’s poorest and most unstable nations.

CAR has suffered several violent crises since 2003 when former president Francois Bozize seized power in a coup.

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