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28 mars 2020 | 04h47 UTC

DRC: Kinshasa Governor announces three-week lockdown from March 28 /update 4

DR Congo Alerte de sécurité

Kinshasa Governor Gentiny Ngobila announces lockdown for three weeks from March 28 due to COVID-19; further spread of the virus expected

TIMEFRAME expected from 28/3/2020, 12h00 until 27/4/2020, 11h59 (Africa/Kinshasa). COUNTRY/REGION DRC, Kinshasa

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On Friday, March 27, Kinshasa Governor Gentiny Ngobila announced that the capital will be placed in "total containment" for three weeks from Saturday, March 28, due to the ongoing coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. The public will be required to stay at home and to go out only when necessary, while only designated people in public administration and healthcare workers will be allowed to travel for work. According to authorities, individuals will be allowed to stock up supplies after every four days of quarantine. The first round of quarantine measures will be in place from March 28 to Tuesday March 31, and the public will be allowed to travel to purchase essential items from Wednesday, April 1, to Thursday, April 2. Meanwhile, all trips between Kinshasa and the rest of the country remain suspended.

On Monday, March 23, President Felix Tshisekedi declared a state of emergency with immediate effect, to contain the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. Authorities closed the country's borders, banning all traffic, both inbound and outbound, though trucks, ships, and cargo planes will be allowed.

As of Saturday, March 28, there are at least 51 cases of COVID-19 nationwide, including three confirmed deaths. Further international spread of the virus is to 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 labored 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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