Geneva — The current Ebola epidemic in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) has killed nearly 1,000 people, the UN said on Friday, warning the “intense” spread of the virus was set to persist. The World Health Organisation (WHO) had initially voiced hope it would be able to contain the outbreak declared in August in eastern DRC, thanks in part to a new vaccine. However, in recent weeks senior WHO officials have conceded that lack of security in the restive region, scarce financial resources, and manipulation of the Ebola issue by local politicians to turn people against health workers has seriously undermined the containment effort. “We are dealing with a difficult and volatile situation,” Michael Ryan, the executive director of WHO’s health emergencies programme, told reporters in Geneva. “We are anticipating a scenario of continued, intense transmission.”  As of May 1, there have been 1,510 Ebola cases in North Kivu and Ituri provinces, with 994 deaths, but this latter number wi...

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