More than 1,700 people have been infected since August 2018, making it the biggest Ebola outbreak in the country’s history. Experts are deeply concerned that the scale of epidemic could reach the horrifying levels, which savaged three countries in west Africa between 2013 and 2016. The outbreak comes at a time of bitter division within the Congo, as rival groups are immersed in war.
According to The Guardian, Jeremy Farrar, head of the Wellcome Trust, said a ceasefire must be called in order to get health professionals through to help those infected by the disease.
He added: “I’m very concerned – as concerned as one can be.
“Whether it gets to the absolute scale of west Africa or not, none of us know, but this is massive in comparison with any other outbreak in the history of Ebola and it is still expanding.
“It’s remarkable it hasn’t spread more geographically but the numbers are frightening and the fact that they are going up is terrifying.”
The number of cases has continued to soar, with nearly 300 new reports of Ebola being singled between April 15 and May 5.
The worst affected area is in the North Kivu region.
Mr Farrar argues that a six-to-nine month ceasefire is needed to try and get to grips with the deadly disease.
He said: “There was violence in West Africa, in Freetown and Monrovia, but this is on a different scale and it is coming from multiple sources.”
Former Foreign Secretary David Miliband, speaking after a visit to the country, has warned the situation could “spiral out of control”.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) last week issued a new set of guidelines aimed at addressing what it termed “vaccination challenges” in treating the ongoing public health crisis in the African country.
The move comes after a turbulent period which has seen several treatment centres targeted by angry mobs, and health workers attacked, with several deaths, including WHO epidemiologist Dr Richard Valery Mouzoko Kiboung.
As of May 13, 1,720 cases have been reported, 1,632 confirmed, 88 probable, according to the latest WHO figures.