The highly contagious virus spreads through close contact with bodily fluids, causing a haemorrhagic fever with severe vomiting, diarrhoea and bleeding. It is often fatal. The controversial decision comes after a third case of the killer virus was confirmed in Goma, a densely populated city located more than 350 km (220 miles) south of where the outbreak was first detected. “The Congolese authorities deplore this decision, which runs counter to the advice of the WHO (World Health Organisation)” on fighting the disease, Congo’s presidency said in a statement issued later in the day.
The third case is the daughter of an Ebola patient who died earlier this week after he sought treatment too late.
The man died on Wednesday morning in Goma’s Ebola treatment centre after spending five days sick at home, according to Jean-Jacques Muyembe, who leads DR Congo’s response to the epidemic.
“The Goma case died because he went to hospital very late,” Mr Muyembe said in a statement. “The patient was in a terminal state when he was diagnosed as he was already exhibiting symptoms of bleeding.”
The new cases have stoked fears the virus could take root in the city of more than 1 million people.
The first Ebola case to hit Goma is not linked to the second or third, according to health