DR Congo quarantines 15 in South Kivu in widening Ebola fight

Doctors in South Kivu, a province that had previously skirted the Ebola epidemic in eastern DR Congo, have quarantined 15 people over fears of infection by the deadly virus, local authorities said Wednesday.

"We have just quarantined 15 people here in Birava—a mum and her six children who came from Goma as well as other members of her family who had come to meet them," said the senior administrative official for Birava, Christian Birhinjira.

Birava is located on Lake Kivu, about 30 kilometres (18 miles) north of Bukavu, the capital of South Kivu.

"The mother and her six children came from Goma and were in a family whose leader had fled an Ebola treatment centre," he said.

The chief doctor at Birava hospital, Ciza Nuru, confirmed that 15 people were in quarantine.

"We received an alert about suspected cases of Ebola from Goma. We looked for a lady and her children and other people she had been in contact with," he said.

Nuru said a team of specialists, including from the World Health Organization (WHO), had come from Bukavu and would return on Thursday "with equipment to deal properly with the situation."

More than 1,800 people have died since the first cases of Ebola in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo were reported on August 1 last year in the province of North Kivu, followed by cases in neighbouring Ituri province.

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© 2019 AFP

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