#COVID19: DR Congo Goes Tough On Enforcement Of Facemask

The new wave regulations come with imprisonment for one week or a fine of 15,000 Congolese Francs.

With effect from Monday Aug. 9, individuals found not wearing protective masks against the COVID-19 in the Democratic Republic of Congo would go to prison for one week or pay a fine of 15,000 Congolese Francs, which is the equivalent of about six euros, the government said.

This decision by the Congolese government comes as there are mixed results from the country’s fight against the coronavirus pandemic.

“We have noticed a sensible drop in COVID-19 cases throughout the national territory, especially in the provincial town of Kinshasa and some increases in provinces such as Haut-Katanga, Lualaba, North Kivu and South Kivu in the south and east of the country,” said Jean-Jacques Mbungani, DR Congo’s Minister of Health.

He made the statement Friday after a meeting of the multi-sectoral committee for the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic presided over by Prime Minister Jean-Michel Sama Lukonde.

A report by experts attesting to a drop in infections in the country was handed over to the Prime Minister “who is expected to hold discussions with President Felix Tshisekedi with a view to taking the appropriate measures.”

Concerning the national capital Kinshasa in particular, Prof. Jean-Jacques Muyembe, charged with the fight against the pandemic, revealed that the “third wave is in constant regression and we can say that it is now behind us.”

“However, we have to be vigilant, continue to correctly wear masks and have ourselves vaccinated when the country receives the vaccines it is waiting for.”

On the contrary, in the economic capital of Lubumbashi, there has been a resurgence of the pandemic, declared the city’s Mayor, Ghislain Robert Lubaba Bulumba, in an order signed Saturday Aug. 7, announcing new prevention measures in the city.

Among the new measures, “access to the centre of the town is henceforth conditioned by the wearing of a mask which is obligatory in all public places,” the order stipulates.

Checkpoints would be put in place to ensure the respect of the new measures as from today, Monday, Aug. 9.

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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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