Pandemonium in Congo Over Lockdown

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Kinshasa, the capital of the Democratic Republic of Congo, is currently in a state of confusion over when and how one of Africa’s biggest cities is to be locked down.

A three-week lockdown was due to start last Saturday, but officials postpone it the night before, blaming last-minute price hikes by shops and vendors for jeopardising security.

Local markets and supermarkets are still full people queueing for food and basic necessities, fearing the lockdown measure may be enforced at any time.

“I don’t know if I should just stay at home or go out,” one confused resident told the BBC.

Apart from the planned lockdown in the capital, DR Congo has taken other measures to curb the spread of virus.

Borders have been shut, flights are suspended from affected cities to the rest of the country, and there’s a ban on gatherings of more than 20 people.

So far, 98 people are known to have contracted coronavirus in DR Congo, eight of whom have since died.

Most cases are in Kinshasa, but others have been recorded in the eastern provinces of North Kivu and South Kivu, as well as Ituri.

Thousands of people who have come into contact with confirmed cases have been identified.

Teams are tracking down other contacts they want to place under quarantine as a precaution.

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