A powerful photo has emerged of a bishop praying for a Congolese priest as he kneels inside an Ebola quarantine zone. The priest was placed into quarantine after he tested positive for Ebola. He has since recovered from the illness and has been released.
The image was taken by photographer Will Swanson, who posted it to Twitter.
“Incredible image of a priest with Ebola being prayed for from afar by his bishop in DRC. There is an outbreak of Ebola in the country but officials say it can be contained,” he tweeted.
Incredible image of a priest with ebola being prayed for from afar by his bishop in DRC. There is an outbreak of ebola in the country but officials say it can be contained #EbolaDRC #DRC #Ebola via @arnoldkatako pic.twitter.com/aG1Llk5cxU
— Will Swanson (@willswanson) May 25, 2018
According to Catholic Herald, Fr Lucien Ambunga was said to have contracted the disease after ministering to a dying patient. The bishop has been identified as Bishop Fridolin Ambongo of Mbandaka-Bikoro. The latest outbreak of the awful disease has killed 25 people, according to the health ministry of the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
The total number of confirmed cases currently stands at 37, according to VOA News. Though the outbreak appears to be slowing, mainly due to the widespread dissemination of vaccinations, the World Health Organization has said that there is still more work to be done in order to contain the spread of disease. “The Ebola outbreak in DR Congo is not over and we need to continue to work,” said WHO spokesman Tarik Jasarevic, according to VOA News.
“… There are lots of areas that are difficult to reach that we have to go to, that we need to make sure that we get to all the contacts. So, there still are contacts that have not been reached. So, it is really too early to say that the outbreak is contained.”
According to WHO, the first doses of the vaccine arrived in the three Congolese cities on May 21, and over the following two weeks about 1,200 people have received the drug, as reported by The Hill.
In 2014, a massive Ebola outbreak caused the deaths of thousands in West Africa. Almost 5,000 died from the disease in Liberia alone. In Sierra Leone, around 4,000 people died, and in Guinea around 2,500 succumbed to the highly contagious illness.