The World Health Organisation (WHO) says cases of the deadly Ebola virus are steadily rising in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

This as healthcare workers remain largely cut off from the disease’s hotspots since militants attacked their camp. So far, 27 Ebola cases have been confirmed in north Kivu and Ituri provinces this week.

Militia fighters in eastern Congo killed four people and wounded several in attacks on two Ebola response centres two weeks ago.

The W.H.O. says security is one of the main challenges that health workers are facing in their efforts to reach reach communities.

Militia fighters in eastern Congo killed four people and wounded several in attacks on two Ebola response centres two weeks ago, in what responders described as a serious setback to efforts to contain the epidemic.

“Insecurity is one of the main challenges that we are facing because it prevents us (from reaching) the communities to protect them against Ebola,” Dr Michel Yao, WHO incident manager, told a Geneva briefing.

A helicopter is to be used as an air bridge to ferry epidemiologists and vaccinators to insecure areas and bring them back the same day, he said. More than 20 people from the stricken Biakato mine area were vaccinated on Thursday, he said.

“When we cannot access the community, we cannot perform surveillance activities including vaccination that has been one of the key innovations that help us really to stop the spread out of this country to others,” Yao said.

There have been 3,340 Ebola cases including 2,210 deaths in the world’s second largest epidemic that was declared in August 2018, WHO figures show.

An Ebola survivor fell ill with the disease for a second time in eastern Congo, the Congolese health authorities said on Sunday, saying it was not yet clear if it was a case of relapse or reinfection.

The man died in a village near Beni, Yao said.