The hospital at the centre of America's Ebola outbreak admitted yesterday it had made mistakes and apologised, as a whistleblowing nurse described scenes of chaos there.
Thomas Duncan, 42, the first person to be diagnosed with the disease in the United States, died at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital on October 8 and two nurses who treated him - Nina Pham and Amber Vinson - contracted the virus.
And late last night, another worker from the Dallas hospital was in quarantine on board a Caribbean cruise liner, which was being refused permission to dock in Belize.
Yesterday, speaking at a congressional hearing in Washington, Dr Daniel Varga, the chief clinical officer of Texas state health resources, said: "We did not correctly diagnose his symptoms as those of Ebola. We are deeply sorry. Despite our best intentions, and a highly skilled medical team, we made mistakes."
The admission came as Briana Aguirre, a nurse, described scenes of chaos at the hospital, with staff having no idea how to tackle the virus. She said the hazmat (hazardous materials) suit she was issued had a large gap in the neck and that materials used to treat suspected Ebola patients were left in corridors for days.
She claimed that suspected Ebola patients were wheeled around the hospital without protection and doctors were told it was acceptable to move between rooms without disinfecting.
Her claims came amid growing criticism that the US response to the virus has been mismanaged.
Late last night, the Government of Belize was refusing to allow the Carnival Cruise ship Magic or any of its thousands of passengers ashore out of fear of Ebola.
The healthcare worker in isolation on board worked at the Dallas hospital, and is being monitored for signs of infection. Although she did not come into contact with Duncan, she may have had contact with clinical specimens collected from him.
Belize said US officials had made it aware of a passenger considered to be of very low risk for Ebola.
"Nonetheless, out of an abundance of caution, the Government of Belize decided not to facilitate a US request for assistance in evacuating the passenger through the Phillip Goldson International Airport."
Yesterday, some US politicians called for the resignation of Dr Tom Frieden, the director of the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and accused his organisation of "demonstrable failures".
Others demanded that President Barack Obama restrict air travel from West Africa, where the disease has killed more than 4500 people.
In a tearful television interview, Aguirre said she feared for her job but believed that colleagues would be "proud" of her for speaking out.
She said: "I can no longer defend my hospital at all ... I watched them violate basic principles of nursing care, of medical care."
When Duncan arrived in an ambulance he was put in an area with up to seven other patients and it took three hours to call the CDC, she said.
A nurse caring for him was looking after three other patients at the same time and the scene was "chaotic".
Aguirre said: "Our infectious disease department was contacted to ask, 'What is our protocol?' And their answer was, 'We don't know'. There were no special precautions, no special gear. We did not know what to do with his lab specimens."
When Pham, a friend, later became ill, Aguirre was given the task of treating her. She said the hazmat suit provided was woefully inadequate. Her mouth and nose were left exposed through a gap of several inches at the neck.
The nurse claimed hospital officials told her to try to close the gap with tape.
"I threw a fit. I couldn't believe in the second week of an Ebola crisis the only gear they were offering us allowed our necks to be uncovered."
Meanwhile, waste from the treatment of suspected patients was placed in hallway bins, she claimed.
Aguirre said: "There was no one to pick up the garbage for two days. It was literally piled to the ceiling. The garbage room was full.
"There were people going by without so much as gloves on, or having their feet covered, and walking into other clean areas."
Asked if she would want to be treated at her own hospital, the nurse said: "I would try anything and everything to refuse to go there to be treated. I would feel at risk by going there. If I don't actually have Ebola, I may contract it there."
The Dallas hospital defended itself against some accusations by Aguirre, and similar ones from the National Nurses United union.
It said: "The assertions do not reflect actual facts learned from the medical record and interactions with clinical caregivers. Our hospital followed the CDC guidelines and sought additional guidance and clarity."
However, the CDC is itself under fire. It emerged that CDC officials gave Vinson permission to board a commercial flight despite her having an elevated temperature, a possible symptom. She was diagnosed with Ebola the next day.
Officials are trying to track down the 132 people on the Frontier Airlines flight from Cleveland to Dallas on Monday.
- Telegraph Group, Daily Mail