On Tuesday, June 9, Kinshasa police used live fire to disperse merchants at the Central Market in Kinshasa. The merchants were trading despite the mandated closure of the market due to the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic. Two people were reportedly killed during the police intervention, although it is not immediately clear if they were shot or trampled by the crowd. The interior minister has halted the cleanup of the market pending an investigation into the incident.
On March 23, President Felix Tshisekedi declared a state of emergency, closing the country's borders and banning all inbound and outbound traffic. Only trucks, ships, and aircraft carrying cargo will be allowed to enter the country.
As of June 9, health authorities have confirmed 4259 COVID-19 cases across the DRC, as well as 90 related deaths. Further international spread of the virus is to be expected over the near term.
Individuals in Kinshasa are advised to monitor developments to the situation and obey all instructions issued by local authorities.
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