Bukavu (DR Congo) (AFP)

Seven relatives of the gold miner who died on Ebola in Goma on Wednesday in the neighboring province of South Kivu, in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), were brought back to the city and placed under "surveillance", according to the World Health Organization (WHO).

In Birava, in South Kivu province (east), a woman close to a gold digger and her six children from Goma had been quarantined with other relatives. All were then vaccinated against Ebola.

All "were vaccinated and brought back to Goma, we put them in a hotel last night (Thursday) and today (Friday) we put them in an apartment to keep them under surveillance," said Dr. Boubacar Diallo, Coordinator in charge of Ebola surveillance for WHO, questioned Friday by AFP. "So far none has any symptoms," he added.

They were "transferred to Goma for good Ebola management by the WHO," said Dr. Ciza Nuru, medical director of the Birava hospital.

A total of 40 people were vaccinated in Birava, a locality located 30 km north of Bukavu, capital of South Kivu province, according to Dr. Cizu, who believes that "the danger is not averted" in Birava .

In Goma, where the goldsmith died of Ebola, one of his daughters and his wife infected with the virus were interned at the Ebola treatment center of the city's hospital two million people, according to the Congolese authorities.

"Three vaccination teams are working on the ground," according to Dr. Boubacar Diallo.

"We have already identified 282 cases" in contact with "three people infected in the same family (deceased gold digger), and almost all high-risk contacts have been identified," he said.

The DRC has been fighting Ebola for a year and the epidemic has already left 1,823 dead, according to the latest figures released Friday by the Ministry of Health. WHO has elevated it to a global health emergency.

The epidemic of haemorrhagic fever, which is spread by direct and close human contact and has a very high fatality rate, has long been confined to the rural areas of North Kivu (mainly Beni and Butembo) and neighboring Ituri.

© 2019 AFP