Panic has gripped residents of Mbandaka town following reports that relatives of an Ebola patient sneaked him into a nearby church to pray for him but didn’t make it. He died hours after.
According to reports, the prayer meeting was being attended by 50 people but when the Ebola patient was brought in, he was vomiting which exposed the other people to the deadly virus.
“The escape was organized by the families, with six motorcycles as the patients were very ill and couldn’t walk,” Dr. Jean-Clement Cabrol, emergency medical coordinator for Medecins Sans Frontieres (Doctors Without Borders), said.
Democratic Republic of Congo Health Ministry said late on Thursday that a new case had been confirmed in the town of Bikoro and another in the nearby village of Iboko, where the epidemic is thought to have started.
This brought the total number of confirmed cases to 31, it said in a statement, out of 52 suspected cases.
DRC’s 9th recorded outbreak of the disease is thought to have killed at least 22 people so far, according to government figures released on Wednesday – lower than the last estimate of 27, after some of those deaths turned out not to be Ebola.