Close button
The Guardian
Email YouTube Facebook Instagram Twitter WhatsApp

DR Congo confines, disinfects business district to fight virus


Staff members of the Congolese Ministry of Health perform a COVID-19 test at a private residence in Goma, northeastern Democratic Republic of Congo, on March 31, 2020. – One positive case of COVID-19 coronavirus was reported on March 30, 2020, in Goma, capital of North Kivu Province and a city of more than one million inhabitants, bringing the total for the Democratic Republic of Congo to 98 positive COVID-19 cases including 8 deaths. (Photo by ALEXIS HUGUET / AFP)

Kinshasa on Monday closed off its upmarket business district for two weeks and began a large-scale disinfection operation in a bid to clean up DR Congo’s main suspected source of coronavirus.

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.


Receive News Alerts on Whatsapp: +2348136370421

No comments yet