Commuting Pastor Brings Ebola to Goma, Congo
A pastor transiting from Butembo to Goma was detected with a case of Ebola. The health ministry said the man who arrived earlier Sunday in the regional capital was quickly transported to an Ebola treatment center. As Butembo is one of the cities hardest hit, all the passengers on the bus in which the pastor travelled were tracked down by authorities.
"Because of the speed with which the patient was identified and isolated, and the identification of all the other bus passengers coming from Butembo, the risk of it spreading in the rest of the city of Goma is small," the health ministry said in a statement.
The Congolese health ministry confirmed that this is the first time the virus has reached the city of more than 2 million people, which stood along the border with Rwanda since the epidemic began nearly a year ago.
The virus has killed more than 1,600 people in Congo and two others who returned home across the border to neighboring Uganda. Health experts have long feared that it could make its way to Goma, which is located on the Rwandan border.
Head of the World Health Organization said the confirmed case in crowded Goma could be a game-changer in how the central African outbreak is tackled. But WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said he hoped the virus would not spread in Goma, while at the same time he convened a meeting of the organization's emergency committee to discuss a possible global emergency declaration.
By Jude Chukwuemeka