Authorities in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo’s largest city, Goma, on Tuesday said the first patient in the city has died.

The patient was a priest who became infected during a visit to the town of Butembo, one of the epicentres of the outbreak, before taking a bus to Goma, according to Congo’s health ministry.

He was being driven from Goma to a clinic in Butembo on Monday to receive treatment when he died, North Kivu province’s Governor Carly Nzanzu told an Ebola response meeting.

The UN’s World Health Organization described the case as a “potential game-changer” and said it would reconvene a key panel to see whether the outbreak required a heightened global response.

Officials in the Democratic Republic of Congo confirmed on Sunday that the Ebola virus had spread to the Eastern city of Goma.

This is the first case in the lakeside city of 1 million people, which is more than 350 km south of where the second-largest Ebola outbreak on record was first detected a year ago.