DR Congo confines, disinfects business district to fight virus
Access to Gombe, which houses the country’s main institutions and foreign embassies, was barricaded off to everyone except local residents with a pass, an AFP journalist saw.
“The choice of this district is linked to the fact that it’s from Gombe that the virus is spreading little by little to other districts,” the health authorities said in a daily statement.
“Massive disinfection has been scheduled during this period. The offices and main buildings in Gombe district are concerned. Once everything has been cleaned in Gombe, other areas will be targeted,” it said.
On Thursday, Kinshasa Governor Gentiny Ngobila announced that Gombe, one of the capital’s 26 districts, would be “placed in quarantine” from April 6-20.
The district “is considered to be the epicentre of the epidemic in the city,” he said.
According to the Democratic Republic of Congo’s official figures, the sprawling country has recorded 161 cases of coronavirus, 18 of them fatal.
Almost all have occurred in the capital, with a handful of other cases in the volatile east.
During the partial lockdown, anti-coronavirus teams in Kinshasa will “look for sick people but also investigate risk contacts and asymptomatic cases” for testing and treatment, the authorities said.
People who go to work in Gombe — drivers, gardeners and so on — will be tested in their districts of residence and will be quarantined if they have the virus.
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