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FILE - Health workers are seen inside the "red zone" of an Ebola treatment center, which was attacked in the early hours of March 9, 2019, in Butembo. VOA

Congo’s Ebola epidemic has now exceeded 1,000 cases, the country’s health ministry said Monday, with a death toll of about 629 in the world’s second-worst outbreak.

The International Rescue Committee (IRC), an aid group, cautioned that case numbers were on the rise and the outbreak could last another six to 12 months in a region beset by violence and poverty.


Here are some key facts and figures about Ebola:

* The world’s worst epidemic of Ebola, a hemorrhagic fever, began in Guinea in December 2013 and swept through Liberia and Sierra Leone, killing more than 11,300 people.


The International Rescue Committee (IRC), an aid group, cautioned that case numbers were on the rise. Pixabay

* Ebola causes fever, flu-like pains, bleeding, vomiting and diarrhea and spreads among humans through contact with bodily fluids of an infected person.

* The world’s second-biggest outbreak of Ebola began in August 2018 in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo.

* By March 2019, Congo’s Ebola outbreak surpassed 1,000 cases with a death toll of 629 and spread to the city of Bunia, the second-largest city in eastern Congo.

* The IRC said in the past week there had been 58 new reported cases — the highest number in a week in 2019.


Congo’s Health Ministry said Monday that the Ebola epidemic has now exceeded 1,000 cases, with a death toll of 629. Pixabay

* Its staff were working in about 59 health clinics to train health workers to recognize symptoms and safely triage and transfer suspected Ebola patients to treatment centers.

* Five Ebola centers have been attacked since February 2019.

ALSO READ: 13 Million in Congo Suffer from ‘Hunger’ and ‘Malnutrition’: UN

* The head of medical charity Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) earlier in March warned that the battle against Ebola was being lost because ordinary people did not trust health workers and the response was overly militarized. (VOA)


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Photo by Wikimedia Commons

Delhi to get new QR-based driving livenses and registration certificates.

In a step towards digitisation of the system, Delhi Transport Department will soon issue QR based Smart cards for driving licenses (DLs) and registration certificates (RCs).

As per a statement, the new driving licence will have an advanced microchip with features like Quick Response (QR) code and Near Field Communication (NFC). The new RC will have the owner's name printed on the front while the microchip and the QR code would be embedded at the back of the card.

The cards earlier had embedded chips, but chip reader machines were not available in the required quantity with both the Delhi Traffic Police and the Enforcement Wing of the Transport Department. Moreover, chips were designed and implemented by the states concerned, which resulted in difficulties in reading the chip and retrieving information, especially in case of defaulters.

"Now with the QR based smart card, this issue is resolved. This will enable unification in linking and validating one's information to smart cards with Sarathi and Vahan, the two web-based databases of all driving licenses and vehicle registrations," the release added.

The QR is also being implemented nationwide, the QR code reader is easily procurable and will do away with the requirement of any manual intervention altogether. The new cards will also allow two specific materials for their card manufacturing -- PolyVinyl Chloride or PVC, or PolyCarbonate which is slightly more expensive but more durable. (Card Size - 85.6mm x 54.02 mm; Thickness minimum 0.7 mm)

An October 2018 notification of the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways (MoRTH) had made changes to the Driving License and Registration Certificate. The new Smart card based DL and RC, will have chip based/ QR code based recognition system. At the same time, documents such as driving license or registration certificates in electronic formats on DigiLockers and mParivahan were also made valid in place of physical documents and treated at par with original documents.

The QR code also has an added advantage of acting as a safety feature on the smart card. The department will be able to retain records and penalties of the DL holder for up to 10 years on the VAHAN database as soon as a driver/ owner's Smart card is confiscated. The new DLs will also help the government in maintaining records of differently-abled drivers, any modifications made to the vehicles, emission standards and the person's declaration to donate organs. (IANS/JB)

Keywords: Delhi, Driving License, Registration License, Digitisation.


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