DR Congo to impose curfew in response to increase in COVID-19 cases

BERLIN, GERMANY - NOVEMBER 15: Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) President Felix Tshisekedi addresses the media during a press conference with the German Chancellor at the Chancellery on November 15, 2019 in Berlin, Germany. Tshisekedi, who took office in January of this year, is visiting France and Germany this week. (Photo by Michele Tantussi/Getty Images)

The Democratic Republic of Congo will impose a curfew and other strict measures, including the mandatory wearing of masks in public spaces, to help quell a second wave of the coronavirus pandemic, its virus response team said on Wednesday.

Starting Friday a 21:00 to 5:00 (9:00 pm to 5:00 am) curfew will be imposed and marches and meetings of more than 10 people will be banned, the Multisectoral Committee for the Response against COVID-19 said in a statement.

School holidays will begin early, while higher education and university courses will be indefinitely suspended. Sports competitions will continue without fans and dead bodies must be taken to their burial place without any other ceremony.

DR Congo has recorded just 14,942 cases of coronavirus and 364 deaths from the disease since the epidemic was officially declared in March.

But it has seen a steady increase in recent weeks, with 345 new cases declared on Wednesday, most in the capital Kinshasa.

Congo re-opened its airspace in August after five months of being closed to help halt the spread of the virus.

On Monday President Felix Tshisekedi said the second wave is caused mainly by the importation of cases from foreign countries and the relaxation of preventive measures.


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