07:34 GMT29 March 2020
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    BRUSSELS (Sputnik) - The European Commission said it would dispatch urgent humanitarian aid to contain an outbreak of the Ebola virus in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).

    "The European Commission has announced a package of urgent humanitarian aid to help contain an outbreak of Ebola in the Democratic Republic of Congo. An initial €1.5 million [$1.7 million] will provide logistics support to the World Health Organization (WHO), and a further €130,000 offered to the International Federation of the Red Cross for life-saving interventions by the Congolese Red Cross. Moreover, the Commission's humanitarian air service ECHO Flight' is due to transport medical experts and emergency staff as well as equipment to the affected areas," the EU institution said in its press release.

    According to the Commission, Brussels is also ready to deploy the European Medical Corps (EMC), aimed to provide a rapid response to health emergencies both inside and outside Europe.

    The Commission noted that the allocated funding would "ensure deployment of relevant surge capacity to the affected areas, surveillance and contact tracing of Ebola victims as well as active case finding for early detection of those infected."

    READ MORE: Eleven New Ebola Cases Confirmed in Congo as Outbreak Spreads

    On Thursday, the World Health Organization (WHO) said it had revised its Ebola virus risk assessment for the African country from "high" to "very high," and from "moderate" to "high" at a regional level.

    According to the DRC Health Ministry, 45 Ebola cases have so far been recorded — 14 confirmed, 10 probable and 21 suspected.

    The European Union has been providing humanitarian aid to the African country since 1994. Over the past five years, it allocated 200 million euros to support humanitarian aid operations.

    The Ebola virus is transmitted to humans from animals and has an estimated 50-percent fatality rate, according to the WHO. The disease killed over 11,000 people in West Africa between 2014 and 2015.


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    virus, ebola, European Commission, World Health Organization (WHO), European Union, Democratic Republic of Congo
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