Following the meeting of the Emergency Committee under the International Health Regulations (2005) on 17 July 2019, the WHO Director-General declared the Ebola virus disease (EVD) outbreak in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) a Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC), and issued the following Temporary Recommendations in relation to travel health measures:
- Continue exit screening and cross-border screening in the affected country at main internal roads to ensure that no contacts are missed, and enhance the quality of screening through improved sharing of information with surveillance teams.
- No country should close its borders or place any restrictions on travel and trade.
- The IHR Emergency Committee does not consider entry screening at airports or other ports of entry outside the region to be necessary.
In view of this declaration, WHO has published updated recommendations for international traffic related to the Ebola virus disease outbreak in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
Under the IHR (2005) a State Party implementing additional health measures that significantly interfere with international traffic: (“i.e refusal of entry or departure of international travellers, baggage, cargo, containers, conveyances, goods, and the like, or their delay, for more than 24 hours”) shall inform WHO of such measures and provide their public health rationale and scientific information within 48 hours of implementation. WHO is required to share the information about such health measures and the public health rationale with other States Parties. Once the public health rationale has been reviewed and assessed by WHO, WHO may request the concerned State Party to reconsider the application of the measures.
Health measures applied during outbreaks under the IHR (2005) must be based on scientific principles and evidence, respect of human rights and fundamental freedom of travellers, and not be more invasive or intrusive than reasonably available alternatives.
WHO continues to closely monitor and, if necessary, verify travel and trade measures in relation to this event. This page provides latest information on the types of measures implemented in relation to the Ebola outbreak in the Democratic of Congo (additional health measures with significant interference with international traffic and those without, such as exit and entry screening).
- Statement on the meeting of the International Health Regulations (2005) Emergency Committee for Ebola virus disease in the Democratic Republic of the Congo on 17 July 2019
- Ebola situation reports: Democratic Republic of the Congo - Disease Outbreak News and Ebola virus Disease Situation reports
- International Health Regulations (2005), Third Edition
For more information, please contact the IHR Secretariat.