DR Congo urges calm as Ebola emerges in Goma READ MORE


The well being ministry confirmed that a pastor tested sure for the virus in a centre in Goma after arriving there by bus on Sunday. The border between the two countries extends into Lake Kivu, bottom left.

As the virus spread to neighboring Uganda last month, other neighboring countries such as Zambia and Tanzania have intensified surveillance at borders in the wake of increased Ebola cases in the DRC.

Doctors Without Borders (MSF), an worldwide aid organization actively working with the Congolese government, issued a statement Monday confirming that the Goma patient had come to one of its facilities to be tested for the virus after showing symptoms.

As the first anniversary of the DRC epidemic draws near, the World Health Organization reports almost 2,500 people have been infected with the virus and 1,665 people have died.

A worker from the World Health Organization decontaminates the doorway of a house on a plot where two cases of Ebola were found, in the village of Mabalako, in eastern Congo Monday, June 17, 2019.

Congolese health officials have been preparing for months for the possibility a case would emerge in Goma and as a result more than 3,000 frontline health workers already have been vaccinated. The Ebola treatment center in Goma has been up and running since February, health officials said.

Goma, a lakeside city of 1 million people, is more than 350 kilometres (220 miles) south of where the outbreak was first detected a year ago.

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"The risk of spreading the disease in the rest of the city Goma is low as the patient was isolated and transferred to the Goma treatment center upon Ebola arrival", the ministry said on Twitter.

The pastor began showing signs of illness on July 9 when he was still in Butembo. The WHO has recorded at least 198 attacks on health facilities and health workers in the region since January.

Around 160,239 people have been vaccinated, it added. "This is yet another positive opportunity towards turning around the response and setting us on track to stop the spread of this deadly disease".

In a statement on Monday, Rwandan Health Minister Diane Gashumba urged Rwanda residents to contribute in strengthening measures to prevent the spread of Ebola Virus to Rwanda.

Insecurity in the restive region, including a long-standing presence of various rebel groups in Ituri and North Kivu, has also made it hard for health workers to access those who might have come into contact with Ebola.

He said, however, "we need to see an end to the attacks and other disruptions to the response".