Grumblings and anger are currently trailing government’s decision to extend the coronavirus lockdown in the Democratic Republic of Congo as the country finds ways to curb the spread of the virus.

President Denis Sassou Nguesso in a national broadcast on Thursday (April 30), announced a 15-day extension of containment measures. This is the second round of lockdown the first of which started from March 31 until April 30.

The new date for a further review of the measure will be May 15. At the same time, the president also extended the country’s state of emergency until May 10. He further announced that large scale testing for the virus will be undertaken.

The government has officially made the wearing of face masks in public places compulsory. The capital, Brazzaville, will undergo an orderly lifting of lockdown measures effective from May 16.

A major condition will be if the results of coronavirus initiatives prove to be progressively encouraging, according to the head of state. The mid-term evaluation shows some Congolese are still not observing social distancing rules.

President Nguesso denounced the activities of young men engaging in contact sports in neighbourhoods in some cities. The Republic of Congo’s case count (as of May 2) stood at 229 confirmed cases, including nine deaths and 25 recoveries.

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