Ebola treatment centre in Congo reopens after attack - ministry

Ebola treatment centre in Congo reopens after attack - ministry

Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) has suspended medical activities at the epicentre of an Ebola epidemic in Democratic Republic of Congo after two of its facilities were torched by unidentified assailants, the French charity said on Thursday.

MSF has not said when it might resume medical activities in the area.

Then in a second attack on Wednesday night in the nearby city of Butembo, assailants tried to set fire to a health centre with nearly 60 patients inside - 15 of whom were confirmed to have Ebola.

Ebola outbreak was confirmed in DRC in August previous year and 553 health-care workers have succumbed to the virus out of the 817 confirmed cases. The blazes were contained, but the teams were obliged to immediately cease patient care.

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No staff or patients were harmed, but the carer of one patient died in the attack in Katwa, MSF said.

Dr Michel Yao, the incident manager for the World Health Organization, told The Telegraph he found bullet holes in the building's walls the next morning. "There may well be a serious new outbreak of cases in health zones in Katwa and Butembo in the coming days".

Nearly seven months after the beginning of the current Ebola outbreak in the provinces of North-Kivu and Ituri, there have been 879 confirmed cases of Ebola and 553 people have died.

At least 490 people have died since last August, according to the health ministry.

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