Congo Records 359 COVID-19 Cases, 347 In Kinshasa

The Democratic Republic of Congo as at April 21 registered 359 cases of COVID-19, with 25 deaths and 45 patients successfully treated and discharged from hospital.

According to the COVID-19 information bulletin issued by the Presidency on Tuesday, there are currently 126 suspected cases of the coronavirus under investigation.

Nine new cases have been confirmed in Kinshasa, 123 specimens tested and 190 patients successfully receiving treatment in health facilities, the report added.

COVID-19 has affected five provinces in the country, namely, Kinshasa with 347 cases, North-Kivu, five cases, South-Kivu, four cases, Ituri, registered two cases and Kwilu, one case.

The Government had imposed certain restrictive measures starting from March 20, including suspension of all flights from high risk and transit countries.

Only planes and cargo ships as well as other freight transport are allowed to enter the country.

Personnel of such cargo transports are to be submitted to strict controls and quarantined if necessary, the government directed.

The presidential directive also stipulated that all passengers wishing to enter the country must be screened and those suspected of carrying the coronavirus quarantined for at least 14 days before being allowed into the country.

According to the directive, all persons leaving the capital, Kinshasa, which is most hit by the virus, for other parts of the country, must submit themselves for tests in order to prevent the propagation of the virus.

To ease the screening process, all entry points in the country which include maritime, river and road transport, have been equipped with screening equipment.

The government also banned church services, meetings and celebrations involving more than 20 persons in public places as well as the closure of all schools, universities and institutions of higher learning.

It also directed the closure of dIscotheques, bars and restaurants and the suspension of sporting activities until further notice.

It ordered the suspension of funerals and death celebrations and that families of deceased persons remove the corpses from mortuaries and take them directly to cemeteries for burial.

It further stated that all who test positive to COVID-19 would be treated free of charge in all health facilities within the country.

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Chief Bisong Etahoben

Chief Bisong Etahoben is a Cameroonian investigative journalist and traditional ruler. He writes for international media and has participated in several transnational investigations. Etahoben won the first-ever Cameroon Investigative Journalist Award in 1992. He serves as a member of a number of international investigative journalism professional bodies including the Forum for African Investigative Reporters (FAIR). He is HumAngle's Francophone and Central Africa editor.

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