The dreaded Ebola virus has resurfaced in the Democratic Republic of Congo, but the governments of Africa and the United Nations are now better equipped to deal with the disease before it again claims thousands of lives. The two cases that were confirmed by a laboratory to be Ebola, were shown to be the Zaire strain of the virus.
The virus is endemic to the Democratic Republic of Congo, but it has since spread to other countries in Africa.
This is Congo's ninth recorded Ebola outbreak, the last of which was in 2017.
The average fatality rate is around 50 per cent, varying from 25 per cent to 90 per cent, according to the WHO. An Ebola outbreak in Equateur province in 2014 killed 49 people.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) said on Friday the cases were among 34 people with suspected Ebola infections in the area in the past five weeks, 18 of whom died and were considered carriers.
The current outbreak's proximity to significant trade and population centers has authorities concerned.
"We have agreement, registration, plus import permit, everything formally agreed already", Tedros told reporters. It is also located 150 kilometers (93 miles) from the large regional capital, Mbandaka.
The World Food Program has established an air bridge, a costly undertaking but one that is essential for moving people and materiel into Bikoro.
Moeti said 362 contacts had been traced of those who had fallen sick - a necessary precursor to deploying the vaccines. The vaccine could arrive in Kinshasa on Tuesday, WHO spokesman Eugene Kabambi said.
"We have enough of them", said the WHO's director-general, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus. Coordination is vital as the vaccine must be kept at minus 60 degrees Celsius. When we talk about Ebola virus now, the shadow of the 2014 West African epidemic hangs heavy as a warning of what can happen.
But the vaccine must be kept in especially cold conditions - far below the level of normal freezers - which makes transporting it in such a remote region a challenge. During the West African crisis, only a handful of foreign health workers were treated with experimental drugs.
The DRC has the means to diagnose the virus locally, get boots on the ground, and contain the spread and treat sick people.
Congolese authorities and global organizations including the WHO, Red Cross, the US Center for Disease Control and Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) are already involved in the operation and have pledged their support to the DRC government.
Dr Tedros met with the President of DR Congo, Mr Joseph Kabila and the Minister of Health Dr Oly Ilunga Kalenga to review the steps taken so far and agree the way forward.