DR Congo capital issues stay-at-home order amid coronavirus outbreak

DR Congo
DR Congo

The Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC)’s capital city Kinshasa on Thursday evening announced an order for its over 11 million residents to stay at home for three weeks with certain intervals in an effort to contain the spread of the novel coronavirus.

According to the decree by Governor Gentiny Ngobila of Kinshasa, administratively equivalent to a province, the movement restrictions to be effective on Saturday allows intervals on designated days. “I decree an intermittent total confinement of 3 weeks which will take effect from Saturday March 28, 2020 and will continue on Sunday, Monday and Tuesday March 31,” Ngobila said in a televised announcement. He said Kinshasans will be allowed to go outdoors on April 1-2, for shopping and walk before resuming confinement within 4 days for a total containment, the periods of which are with the exemptions for health care and other essential services.

The decision was made after 54 cases of COVID-19 have been confirmed in the capital city, where the majority of the infections are now locally transmitted, and where the country’s first case was reported on March 10. President Felix Tshisekedi on Tuesday declared a state of emergency across the central African country, and announced measures including the closure of all borders to non-essential traffic and a ban on all trips between Kinshasa and the country’s 25 provinces. Three deaths from COVID-19 had been reported as of Tuesday in the country.

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