Twenty-six people died of Ebola in a single day in the Democratic Republic of Congo’s North Kivu province, the highest daily toll since its outbreak nearly nine months ago, the health ministry said Tuesday.

The current outbreak is the second deadliest on record, after the epidemic that struck West Africa in 2014-2016 and killed more than 11,300 people.

The health ministry it had counted 957 deaths in the country, of which 891 were confirmed cases and 66 suspected ones.

“There were 26 deaths from confirmed cases” on Sunday, April 28, in the northeastern North Kivu province, the ministry said in a statement.

It said of the total deaths of 957, 33 were health workers who had succumbed to the disease.

DR Congo declared a tenth outbreak of Ebola in 40 years last August in North Kivu before the virus spread into the neighbouring Ituri region.

The epicentre was first located in the rural area of Mangina but then switched to the town of Beni.

Local organisations say the number of Ebola deaths is rising.

Adding to the logistical hitches are a string of assaults on teams fighting the disease.

A Cameroonian doctor working for the World Health Organization (WHO), Richard Valery Mouzoko Kiboung, was shot dead on April 19.

“We will not be intimidated… we will finish our work,” said WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus during a visit to Nord-Kivu on Monday.

“Your security is our priority. We will do everything to protect you,” he added.

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