False Ebola alarm triggers panic at Zambia, DR Congo border

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Police in Zambia’s Chililabombwe town on the border with the Democratic Republic of Congo (DR Congo) have arrested a driver for allegedly causing panic when he claimed that one of his colleague had failed to drive his vehicle because he had contracted Ebola, the Zambia Daily Mail reported on Friday.

 

 

The 44-year-old driver was arrested at Kasumbalesa border on Thursday and charged with publication of false news with intent to cause alarm or fear to the public.

 

 

Copperbelt Police Commanding Officer Joyce Kasosa said there was panic at the border when the driver allegedly claimed that his colleague had contracted the Ebola disease.

 

 

“This happened when the said driver went to Zambia Revenue Authority facility at Kasumbalesa to clear his truck that was coming from the Democratic Republic of Congo and alleged that there was a driver within the facility who was unable to drive a truck because he was suffering from Ebola,” she was quoted as saying by the paper.

 

 

This caused panic among members of the general public but it was later discovered to be false after investigations, she added.

 

 

DR Congo reported its first cases of the deadly Ebola disease last week and Zambia has since intensified surveillance measures at the border entry.

 

 

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), more than 1, 900 people have now died in West Africa since the outbreak of Ebola early this year and that there were about 3,500 confirmed cases in Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia.

Shanghai Daily

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