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23 Apr 2020 | 05:31 PM UTC

DRC: Authorities ease lockdown restrictions in Gombe district April 22 /update 10

DR Congo News Alert

Authorities ease lockdown restrictions in Gombe district, reopening supermarkets and some banks April 22; follow official directives

TIMEFRAME expected from 4/23/2020, 12:00 AM until 5/17/2020, 11:59 PM (Africa/Kinshasa). COUNTRY/REGION DRC, Kinshasa, Gombe district

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On Wednesday, April 22, authorities announced the reopening of supermarkets and certain banks in Gombe district, the administrative and commercial center of Kinshasa, following previous lockdown measures in place amid the ongoing coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak.

Regional media sources report that supermarkets and some banks in Gombe have resumed operations. Restrictive measures will still be in place in these establishments including social distancing measures and additional hygiene measures. According to reports, further easing of restrictions should be expected in the coming days, though details of these have not yet been officially announced and those in-country should continue to adhere to directives and measures in place.

The commune of Gombe was placed under lockdown for 14 days on Monday, April 6, to further prevent the spread of COVID-19. Health workers, the press, and those going to hospitals were the only individuals allowed in or out of the commune during this period.

On Monday, March 23, President Felix Tshisekedi declared a state of emergency with immediate effect, closing the country's borders and banning all inbound and outbound traffic. Trucks, ships, and cargo planes are the only transportation allowed to enter the country.

As of Thursday, April 23, there have been 377 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the DRC, with 25 associated deaths. Further international spread of the virus should be expected in the near term.


The first case of COVID-19 was reported on December 31 and the source of the outbreak has been linked to a wet market in Wuhan (Hubei province, China). Human-to-human and patient-to-medical staff transmission of the virus have been confirmed. Many of the associated fatalities have been due to pneumonia caused by the virus.

Cases of the virus have been confirmed in numerous countries and territories worldwide. Virus-screening and quarantining measures are being implemented at airports worldwide, as well as extensive travel restrictions. On March 11, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the global outbreak a pandemic.

Pneumonia symptoms include dry cough, chest pain, fever, and trouble breathing. Pneumonia can be contagious and can be transmitted from human to human. The influenza virus, or the flu, is a common cause of viral pneumonia.


Measures adopted by local authorities evolve quickly, and are usually effective immediately. Depending on the evolution of the outbreak in other countries, authorities are likely to modify, at very short notice, the list of countries whose travelers are subject to border control measures or entry restrictions upon their arrival to the territory in question. It is advised to postpone non-essential travel due to the risk that travelers may be refused entry or be subject to quarantine upon their arrival or during their stay.

To reduce the risk of transmission, travelers are advised to abide by the following measures:

  • Frequently clean hands by applying an alcohol-based hand rub or washing with soap and water.
  • When coughing and sneezing, cover mouth and nose with a flexed elbow or tissue; if used, throw the tissue away immediately and wash hands.
  • If experiencing a fever, cough, difficulty breathing, or any other symptoms suggestive of respiratory illness, including pneumonia, call emergency services before going to the doctor or hospital to prevent the potential spread of the disease.


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