DR Congo

Democratic Republic of the Congo: UNHCR Update on COVID-19 Response (2 April 2020)

Situation Report
Originally published
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Main highlights

  • As of 1 April, there were 123 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the DRC, with 11 reported deaths. No new cases of Ebola have been recorded since 17 February; should this trend continue until 12 April, the epidemic can be declared over.

  • On 25 March, UNHCR declared a global L2 emergency for the COVID-19 situation.

  • Across DRC, UNHCR is putting in place prevention measures in refugee camps, IDP sites and transit centres. This includes temperature screening and handwashing at entry points, the installation of handwashing stations in public places (markets, health centers etc.), distributions of soap and cleaning products, and awareness-raising on COVID-19 using posters, leaflets, radio spots, and community networks.

  • UNHCR continues its protection and assistance activities to the extent possible maintaining physical distancing.

Operational context

On 24 March, President Tshisekedi declared a countrywide state of emergency, and shut down national borders to stop the spread of COVID-19. While most COVID-19 cases have been confirmed in Kinshasa, a first case of COVID-19 was confirmed in Ituri Province on 27 March according to WHO, while two additional cases were confirmed in South Kivu Province on 29 March. As part of the measures taken to prevent further spreading of COVID-19, the DRC Government has banned gathering of more than 20 persons, and ordered the closure of schools, universities, churches, restaurants and other public spaces for four weeks, from 19 March. As most cases have been identified in Kinshasa, the DRC Government has also banned all travel of persons from Kinshasa to the provinces and vice versa, and only is allowing cargo shipments.