Pestilence Update

As first Ebola case found in Uganda, there are questions over WHO’s reaction time

Blog note. Jesus indicated that ‘fearful sights’ (various natural disasters) would occur leading up to the time known as the Tribulation and Great Tribulation (a combined seven year period of great destruction on earth). Although these types of things have occurred in the past for centuries and thousands of years, they could be identified as the ‘season of the times’ due to the ferociousness of these events. They would be occurring in greater intensity, severity, frequency, size, duration, scope … just like the pains that a woman experiences in labor the farther along she is in the labor process. We are in the ‘season of the times’ that comes just before the seven (7) year Tribulation/Great Tribulation period
… And great earthquakes shall be in diverse places, and famines, and pestilences; and fearful sights and great signs shall there be from heaven. (Luke 21:11).
… And there shall be signs in the sun, and in the moon, and in the stars; and upon the earth distress of nations, with perplexity; the sea and the waves roaring; (Luke 21:25)
… Men’s hearts failing them for fear, and for looking after those things which are coming on the earth: for the powers of heaven shall be shaken; (Luke 21:26)
… This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. (2 Timothy 3:1)
Jesus is giving a series of prophecies about what to look for as the age of grace comes to a close. These verses are several of many such prophecies from throughout the Bible. 2017 was the worst year in recorded history for the intensity, frequency, severity, duration and occurrence of a large number of severe natural disasters worldwide. Earthquakes, volcanoes, hurricanes, typhoons, cyclones, torrential flooding, unprecedented wildfires in unusual places, devastating droughts, excessive/scorching heat setting records everywhere, record snowfalls in Europe and Russia. Snow in the Arabia. This list can go on. Most studied Eschatologists believe these ‘fearful sights’ and massive natural disasters are all part of the ‘CONVERGENCE’ of signs that this Biblical and prophetic age is closing. Most people who study prophecy are familiar with the routine reference(s) made that these things will be like a woman having labor.

As first Ebola case found in Uganda, there are questions over WHO’s reaction time

By B. David ZarleyJune 12, 2019. Quartz.

On April 12, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared for the second time in as many years that the Ebola outbreak in the North Kivu and Ituri provinces of the Democratic Republic of the Congo “does not constitute a Public Health Emergency of International Concern.”

The declaration of a Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC) is a power granted the WHO by the member states of the International Health Regulations (IHR) of 2005. A PHEIC can be declared when a public health emergency like the current Ebola outbreak poses an international risk, regionally or even globally. In the case of the DR Congo, the fear was Ebola could spread into neighboring countries.

But on Tuesday (June 11), the Uganda’s health ministry and WHO confirmed a case of Ebola virus disease in neighboring Uganda, in a 5 year old boy who traveled with his family from the DRC on June 9th. According to Uganda’s health minister Jane Ruth Aceng, the boy died the morning on Wednesday morning, and two more cases have since been confirmed, bringing the total number to three.

The situation in DR Congo is particularly complicated. North Kivu and Ituri northeastern provinces are currently roiled by armed conflict and widespread local mistrust in the government and health workers. This security unrest has seen treatment centers burned down and health workers killed, including a Cameroonian WHO doctor.  When these challenges are combined with the province’s mass displacement of people it greatly increases the difficulty of containing the outbreak and the chance it spreads to neighboring nations.

Clarion call

A public health emergency designation helps galvanize international support and funding, which supporters of a PHEIC declaration argue the DR Congo outbreak desperately needs.

“It’s a clarion call to the international community,” says Mark Eccleston-Turner, a lecturer at the School of Law at Keele University in Staffordshire, UK who authored a paper in The Lancet calling for a PHEIC to be declared. He also co-authored a paper in BMJ Global Health with Adam Kamradt-Scott of the University of Sydney criticizing the decision not to and the lack of transparency in said decision. He argues the IHR requirements, as laid out in Article 12 and detailed in Annex 2, had been met for the declaration of an international public health emergency.  “The International Health Regulations require only the potential for international spread, not actual international spread.”

The WHO provided Quartz with only the previously published Emergency Committee’s April 2019 statement.

The greatest danger of a public health emergency designation seems to be the increased potential for travel and trade restrictions to be enacted which could devastate economies and worsen the situation. The Emergency Committee, in both October 2018 and this April, stated that it was “particularly important that no international travel or trade restrictions should be applied.” Such restrictions are already in place, however; in August of 2018, the Rwandan Ministry of Health announced entry screenings and potential 21 day quarantines for travelers coming from the outbreak areas.

Declaring a PHEIC would be counterproductive, DR Congo’s health ministry spokesperson Jessica Ilunga wrote in an email to Quartz. The PHEIC could cause an increase in tension with the North Kivutian population, which are predominantly traders and farmers; were international borders to be restricted after a PHEIC—the PHEIC cannot decree this; states must—their lives would be made much more difficult.

The ministry believes progress has been made in the past few weeks due to a more stable security situation and better access to the affected communities, Ilunga wrote. Their fear is a PHEIC could undo this progress.

“Even with this new case in Uganda, things remain relatively under control,” Ministry spokesperson Ilunga wrote. “This family was already followed by Congolese health authorities and, when they crossed the borders, Ugandan authorities found them and isolated them in less than 24 hours. So the risk of spread in Uganda beyond that family is limited.”

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