Congo soldiers, police to enforce Ebola emergency measures

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Congo soldiers, police to enforce Ebola emergency measures
In this Tuesday, July 16, 2019 photo, health workers dressed in protective gear begin their shift at an Ebola treatment center in Beni, Congo DRC. The World Health Organization has declared the Ebola outbreak an international emergency after spreading to eastern Congo's biggest city, Goma, this week. More than 1,600 people in eastern Congo have died as the virus has spread in areas too dangerous for health teams to access. (AP Photo/Jerome Delay)

GOMA, Congo (AP) — Authorities say Congolese soldiers and police will enforce hand-washing and fever checks now that the deadly Ebola outbreak has been declared an international health emergency.

The coordinator of the outbreak response at Congo’s health ministry said Thursday that soldiers and police will “force” people who resist taking the key steps to help contain the deadly disease.

Dr. Aruna Abedi spoke to reporters in Goma, the city of more than 2 million people where a first Ebola case in this year-long outbreak was announced early this week. The regional crossroads is on the Rwanda border and has an international airport.

Traffic was flowing normally through the border on Thursday after the World Health Organization’s emergency declaration Wednesday night.

The second-worst Ebola outbreak in history has killed more than 1,600 people.