Ahead of the Super Eagles of Nigeria’s international friendly against Democratic Republic of Congo on May 28, report has it that more people have died from the deadly Ebola virus that broke out in the central African country.
According to latest report by AFP news agency, the World Health Organization (WHO) confirmed that the new Ebola toll has risen to 45 cases with 14 confirmed and 25 dead.
DR Congo will be coming to Nigeria with 11 players from their local league named in their squad announced on Thursday.
The friendly is part of the Eagles’ preparations towards the 2018 World Cup in Russia.
Nigeria Football Federation President Amaju Pinnick has assured that there is no cause for alarm and the friendly will go ahead despite concerns.
The dreaded Ebola virus spread to Nigeria from Liberia in 2014 through a visiting Liberian.
However, it was quickly contained before it did extensive damage.
Meanwhile, WHO is to hold an emergency meeting to discuss the risk of Ebola spreading from the Democratic Republic of Congo.
And according to BBC, a panel will decide on Friday whether to declare a “public health emergency of international concern” , which would trigger a larger response.
Cases emerged in a rural area with one now confirmed in the city of Mbandaka.
The city of about one million people is a transport hub on the River Congo, prompting fears that the virus could now spread further, threatening the capital Kinshasa and surrounding countries.
Commenting on the Ebola issue, WHO deputy director-general for emergency response Peter Salama told BBC the spread to Mbandaka meant there was the potential for an “explosive increase” in cases.
“This is a major development in the outbreak,” he told the BBC. “We have urban Ebola, which is a very different animal from rural Ebola. The potential for an explosive increase in cases is now there.”
Salama said Mbandaka’s location on the River Congo raised the prospect of Ebola spreading to Congo-Brazzaville and the Central African Republic, as well as downstream to Kinshasa, which has a population of 10 million.
“This puts a whole different lens on this outbreak and gives us increased urgency to move very quickly into Mbandaka to stop this new first sign of transmission,” he said.