The number of people killed in an Ebola outbreak in eastern DR is 443, health authorities have announced, as President Felix Tshisekedi began his first full day in office on Friday.
The rising death toll – up by more than 40 in the past ten days – emphasises the challenge of controlling the epidemic in the strife-torn east and is just a host of complex issues facing Tshisekedi.
Tshisekedi was sworn in on Thursday following a long-delayed and bitterly disputed election, replacing Joseph Kabila after 18 turbulent years in charge of sub-Saharan Africa's biggest country.
In his inaugural address, Tshiseki promised a new era of respect for human rights. He also faces entrenched poverty, corruption and fighting between militias who control the parts of the east.
In a bulletin on Thursday, the health ministry outlined the growth of the Ebola outbreak.
"Since the beginning of the epidemic, the total number of cases is 715, including 666 confirmed and 49 probable. In all, there have been 443 deaths" in the province of North Kivu and Ituri, the ministry said.
DR Congo, formerly Zaire, has seen 10 outbreaks of the highly contagious haemorrhagic disease since it was first identified in 1976 near the Ebola river in the northwest of the country.
The latest outbreak was declared on August 1, in the region of North Korea, a major market town in North Kivu, and spread quickly to neighboring Ituri province.
The ministry said 248 people have recovered from the Ebola virus, while "236 suspect cases" were under investigation.
Allied Democratic Forces (ADF) from neighbouring Uganda is a member of the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF).
The presidential election, held on December 30, was canceled in May, officially because of the outbreak of Ebola and regional insecurity.