Table of Contents

Coronavirus Update Congo-Coronavirus-COVID-19 Updates in Congo

UNDERSTANDING CORONAVIRUS – COVID-19, THE GLOBAL PANDEMIC

The planet is in an upheaval and chaos, as we think today about what to do and how to avoid Coronavirus (COVID-19) from spreading any further. This disease began as simple flu in a Chinese town of Wuhan and has now proven to be a global epidemic with little cure to polarize and disorientate the global village on what to do next.

We have now dedicated this page to shading light on this disease that has withered humanity in a way that hasn’t been seen since the Spanish flu of 1918 for almost a hundred years. We will be answering all your questions about this still pretty new virus in the human world.

Your choice is to travel, and you are responsible for your personal safety abroad. We take the safety and security of people abroad very seriously and in our Travel Advice we provide credible and timely information to enable you to make well-informed decisions about your travel abroad.

Advice-Coronavirus update congo

Reconfirm all your travel plans. Follow all official instructions. Adhere to public protection and health policies. Suggest avoiding travel if you encounter COVID-19-related symptoms, as these can cause increased scrutiny and delays. For more alerts and advice liaise with trusted contacts. Tell your diplomatic representative. Ensure the contingency plans take into account new punitive steps or modifications to existing restrictions. Review and reconfirm hospital appointments for non-emergency cases.

Emphasize basic health precautions, especially regular handwashing with soap and water, or a hand sanitizer based on alcohol when soap and water are not available. Practice a good etiquette of coughing / sneezing (i.e., covering coughs and sneezes with disposable tissue, keeping distance from others and washing hands). There is no evidence that the influenza vaccine, antibiotics, or antiviral medications will prevent this disease, highlighting the importance of diligent basic health precautions.

Severity: Critical Alert

Entry/Exit: Authorities in DRC extend isolation measures to areas in North Kivu April 6-20. Air, land, sea ports closed nationwide since March 26.

This alert affects Democratic Republic of the Congo

This alert began 06 Apr 2020 10:33 GMT and is scheduled to expire 20 Apr 2020 23:59 GMT.

Incident: Movement and travel restrictions

Location(s): Nationwide (map)

Time Frame: Through April

Impact: Travel and business disruptions

Summary

The Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) authorities have placed revised restrictions on curbing the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) as of 6 April:

Goma, North Kivu Province, will be quarantined for two weeks from April 6. Travel between the city and surrounding environs will be suspended. Trade between the city and neighboring towns can continue and markets will remain open for essential goods. Residents have been advised to remain indoors.

Travel between Goma, Butembo, and Beni, all in North Kivu, has been suspended through at least April 20.

Gombe municipality, located in Lukunga district of Kinshasa, is quarantined April 6-20. Non-essential businesses will be shut. All residents are to remain in their homes. Only health workers will be allowed access to the municipality. Authorities reversed an earlier decision to place the whole of Kinshasa on rotational lockdown from March 28.

Existing measures since March 26:

All land borders, airports, and maritime entry ports were closed for passenger transit. Under heightened screening measures commercial and freight transport can continue.

Restrictions on travel between Kinshasa and other provinces are in effect; all domestic flights, as well as road and river transport between Kinshasa and the provinces, have been suspended for passenger traffic indefinitely. Under heightened screening measures commercial and freight transport will proceed.

Public meetings had been banned by authorities. Markets, restaurants and bars shall remain closed until further notice. Most universities and schools will remain closed until at least April 17.

Penalties for persons who violate lockout laws are undefined. For compliance security forces will be deployed. The DRC’s security forces can employ force to ensure compliance.

The DRC declared a state of emergency to limit the spread of COVID-19 effective March 24. Over the coming days additional measures are likely to avoid the spread of COVID-19 in the DRC.

Background and Analysis-Coronavirus update congo

The measures adopted by the government correspond with similar actions taken by other regional governments in recent days in response to the spread of COVID-19. COVID-19 is a viral respiratory disease caused by infection with the SARS-CoV-2 virus (previously known as 2019-nCoV). Symptoms occur 1-14 days following exposure (average of 3-7 days). These symptoms include fever, tiredness, cough, trouble breathing, often progressing to pneumonia and kidney failure-especially in those with underlying medical conditions. The ongoing COVID-19 outbreak was declared a pandemic by the WHO on March 11.

Advice

Reconfirm all travel plans envisaged. Follow all official instructions. Adhere to public protection and health policies. Suggest avoiding travel if you encounter COVID-19-related symptoms, as these can cause increased scrutiny and delays. For more alerts and advice liaise with trusted contacts. Tell your diplomatic representative. Ensure contingency plans account for further disruptive measures or extensions of current restrictions. Reconsider and reconfirm nonemergency health appointments.

Emphasize basic health precautions, especially regular handwashing with soap and water, or a hand sanitizer based on alcohol when soap and water are not available. Practice a good etiquette of coughing / sneezing (i.e., covering coughs and sneezes with disposable tissue, keeping distance from others and washing hands). There is no evidence that the influenza vaccine, antibiotics, or antiviral medications will prevent this disease, highlighting the importance of diligent basic health precautions.

Global Health Advisory: Do Not Travel. Avoid all international travel due to the global impact of COVID-19. Reconsider travel to the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) due to crime, civil unrest, and Ebola. Some areas have increased risk. Read the entire Travel Advisory.

Do Not Travel To:

North Kivu, South Kivu, and Ituri provinces due to Ebola

North Kivu and Ituri provinces due to terrorism.

The eastern DRC region and the three Kasai provinces (Kasai, Kasai-Oriental, Kasai-Central) due to crime, civil unrest, armed conflict and kidnapping.

Country Summary: Violent crime, such as armed robbery, armed home invasion, and assault, is common and local police lack resources to respond effectively to serious crime. Assailants may pose as police or security agents.

Demonstrations in many towns are common, and some have turned violent. At times the police responded with heavy-handed tactics resulting in civilian casualties and arrests.

Ebola virus outbreak occurs in eastern DRC, which may affect other areas of the world. In the DRC, the CDC released a Level 2 Travel Alert on Ebola.

Owing to weak infrastructure and security conditions, the US government has extremely limited capacity to provide emergency consular services to U.S. citizens outside Kinshasa.

Read the Safety and Security section on the Country Information Page.

If you decide to travel to the Democratic Republic of the Congo:

  • Avoid demonstrations.
  • Use caution when walking or driving.
  • Always have a copy of your U.S. passport and DRC visa. Keep originals in a secure location. Carry your U.S. passport and DRC visa when crossing provincial borders or flying domestically.
  • Read the CDC Travel Notice on Ebola in the DRC.
  • Visit the CDC Travelers’ Health Page for the DRC.
  • Consult a doctor for preventive medical advice. Many diseases present in the DRC have symptoms similar to Ebola. If suspected to have Ebola, you could face travel delays, quarantine, and extremely expensive medical costs.
  • Enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) to receive Alerts and make it easier to locate you in an emergency.
  • Follow the Department of State on Facebook and Twitter.
  • Read OSAC’s Crime and Safety Report for the DRC.
  • Prepare a contingency plan for emergency situations. Review the Traveler’s Checklist.

North Kivu, South Kivu, and Ituri Provinces: Level 4—Do Not Travel

Eastern DRC is experiencing an epidemic of the Ebola virus, with confirmed and suspected cases recorded in the provinces of Ituri, North Kivu and South Kivu. In the DRC, the CDC released a Level 2 Travel Alert on Ebola.

The U.S. government is unable to provide emergency consular services to U.S. citizens in the provinces of North and South Kivu and Ituri, as U.S. government travel is limited to those regions.

North Kivu and Ituri Provinces: Level 4—Do Not Travel

Terrorist and armed groups operating in the provinces of North Kivu and Ituri have attacked military and civilian targets and represent a continuing threat to aid workers and other NGO personnel operating in the area.

The U.S. government is unable to provide emergency consular services to U.S. citizens in North Kivu and Ituri provinces as U.S. government travel to these areas is restricted.

Eastern DRC Region and the Three Kasai Provinces: Level 4: Do Not Travel

Throughout North Kivu, South Kivu, Ituri, Tanganyika, Haut Lomami, Bas-Uele, and Haut-Uele, and three Kasai provinces of Kasai Oriental, Kasai Central, and Kasai, violent crime such as murder, robbery, abduction, and pillaging continue. Road travelers are frequently targeted for ambushes, armed robbery and abduction.

In all of these regions, particularly in urban areas, protests and large gatherings may take place and escalate into violence. Extrajudicial crowds can rapidly form and become aggressive, threatening humanitarian aid workers and other staff working in the region.

There is regular conflict between militant groups, individuals and military forces. Civilisations are also attacked in attacks.

The U.S. government is unable to provide U.S. citizens in eastern DRC and those provinces with emergency consular services, as U.S. government travel to these regions is restricted.

Lock down

DR Congo isolates Kinshasa over coronavirus

DR Congo’s President Felix Tshisekedi declared a state of emergency on Tuesday and ordered the isolation of the capital Kinshasa from the rest of the country to prevent coronavirus from spreading.

The isolation of the capital means no passenger flights in or out of Kinshasa, although cargo flights will be allowed. The travel ban includes all public transport and buses as well as river transport in and out of the city.

The new measures include a ban on all travel from Kinshasa to the provinces and from the provinces to the capital to allow for the confinement of the city, he said. “Given the seriousness and the dangerous nature of this situation, I declare a state of emergency,” Tshisekedi said in a televised address.

The country has reported 45 virus cases including 3 fatalities all in Kinshasa. Capital isolation means no passenger flights to or from Kinshasa while cargo flights are permitted.

The travel ban covers both public transport and taxis, as well as transportation to and from the city by boat. The president said DR Congo would also close its borders to all travel except for cargo-carrying trucks, ships and planes.

The second-largest city in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Lubumbashi, began a 48-hour lockdown on Monday after the arrival of two people with suspected coronavirus aboard a flight from Kinshasha.

Parliamentarians in the Democratic Republic of Congo voted to extend a 15-day state of emergency to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus Thursday.

The measure was announced in March and was set to expire Friday at midnight.

Within the country, the authorities have reported 359 confirmed COVID-19 cases and 25 deaths.

Given the pandemic, the internal rules of Parliament had to be amended to allow only 60 out of 500 plenary members to debate the bill presented by the executive on Thursday, said Jeanine Mabunda, Speaker of Parliament of the Lower House.

Explaining the rationale for the extension, Mabunda implored lawmakers to put aside their political, ethnic and tribal differences in the face of the “dangerous common enemy of humanity COVID-19 for the good of the Congolese.”

The extension of the state of emergency was endorsed by a majority of lower house lawmakers before being sent to the Senate, where most lawmakers eventually passed it.

In terms of social distancing rules, a few members of the Upper House of Parliament also met, including the chairmen of parliamentary groups and standing committee members.

On 10 March, DR Congo reported its first COVID-19 outbreak and the disease spread to at least four provinces.

President Felix Tshisekedi declared a state of emergency on 24 March, announcing the closure of all frontiers to non-essential traffic and a ban on all trips between the capital and the 25 provinces of the country.

Kinshasa remains the epicenter of the pandemic, with over 11 million residents.

On March 26, the City announced a lockdown in a bid to contain the virus spread. But restrictions on essential services in the capital were loosened on Thursday.

On April 17, Tshisekedi demanded that both chambers of Parliament prolong the state of emergency until it expires.

He later signed an ordinance requiring both Parliament houses to sit down and discuss the extension despite the law prohibiting any gatherings of more than 20 people during the COVID-19 epidemic.

According to the Africa Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the death toll from the COVID-19 pandemic on the African continent reached 1.242 while confirmed cases hit 25.937 as of Thursday.

The Democratic Republic of Congo’s president closed the country’s borders and on Tuesday imposed a state of emergency to contain the coronavirus outbreak, following other African nations that have imposed strict measures in recent days.

The virus spreads quickly across Africa, infecting more than 1,700 people across 45 countries, already threatening vulnerable healthcare systems. On Monday, Senegal and Ivory Coast announced their own state of emergency, placing curfews on their populations and travel restrictions.

More than 40 people in the DRC contracted the virus and three were killed, raising fears about a widespread epidemic, especially in the crowded capital Kinshasa where social distancing is an alien phenomenon.

“Coronavirus does not need a passport, visa or voter’s card to circulate in our house,” President Félix Tshisekedi said in a speech to the nation on Tuesday. “We find ourselves at war with an invisible adversary.”

The President banned internal passenger and river flights to and from Kinshasa, where all 45 of the known cases were found. He suspended commercial flights with the virus from other countries last week, banning large gatherings, and closed clubs, restaurants, and bars.

According to officials and witnesses, at least three people died during a protest by hundreds of demonstrators in the capital of the Democratic Republic of Congo against the coronavirus lockdown of the town’s main market.

The police said they fired warning shots to disperse the crowd that had gathered on Tuesday at the site to demand Kinshasa market reopening, AFP reporters said.

Several demonstrators said at least one person was killed by gunfire. According to a spokesman for the Kinshasa provincial government, two people were electrocuted while another was crushed to death by the fleeing crowd after “trouble by people pretending to be trade unionists” from the market.

“We deplore the deaths of three people,” the spokesman, Charles Mbuta Muntu, said following a meeting to discuss the unrest.

“Those responsible for these riots have been arrested” for having violated state of emergency measures imposed to combat the virus.

The demonstrators had stood behind barriers that have cut off the housing market in the Gombe region as part of the fight against coronavirus spreading since early April.

He fired insults at Gentiny Ngobila, the governor of Kinshasa, branding him a “thief.”

Belise Okonda, a spokesperson for the governorate, denied the market’s rumors being knocked down.

However, the governor first wants work undertaken by the city authorities to improve health and sanitation at the market.

Of the 4,359 cases, including 3,864 in Kinshasa, the Democratic Republic of Congo has reported 90 deaths from the latest coronavirus.

On 24 March DRC President Felix Tshisekedi ordered the state of emergency, which was extended several times by a parliamentary vote.

Borders, schools, places of worship, bars and restaurants are all closed and gatherings of more than 20 people are forbidden according to the measures put in place to curb the spread of the virus.

Education-Coronavirus update congo

Schools in the Republic of Congo closed in mid-March. The government acted quickly and ensured that children continued to learn from home through television, radio and newspapers by providing lessons. A key Government priority was not to stop learning.

Congo’s Democratic Republic is still recovering from years of devastating civil war which has killed nearly four million people. Violence is an ever-present issue for vulnerable populations faced with Ebola virus attacks, food shortages and now coronavirus.

Bernard Balibuno has been our country director in DR Congo for seven years. He tells us how your donations are changing the lives of families and communities that only a faith-based organisation, like CAFOD, can reach.

This country has been a country with turmoil and a lot of rebel movements and that has caused a lot of displacement for many years.

We have over five million displaced people, particularly on the eastern side of the country where there has been a lot of rebel movement recorded. People cannot do their regular shop in those areas where rebels are involved, they cannot go to their farms, without risking rape or other crime.

We also had drought elsewhere in the DRC, natural disasters, environmental problems and tribal warfare. Thus there are a lot of problems throughout the country, and that makes the lives of normal Congolese even harder.

Coronavirus came and we are once again living in a very different world right now, where the government has locked up some areas, closed schools, closed travel.

Imagine living in a country that imports everything from outside, now nothing is coming in. Where people work on a regular basis and women or men need to go out and raise $1 or $2 to eat every day. In a country where markets have to be open every day to survive. In a country where your healthcare needs to be paid in cash.

We are seeing some very, very serious poverty issues here. Yes, coronavirus is killing people, but the consequences of coronavirus will even kill more people.

We saw a lot of community resistance to international aid and conspiracy theories evolving during the Ebola time. Specialists came from around the world to fight this Disease, so people were wondering, “Are they really going to support us? We’ve been dying for so many years, now they’re all going?”

We see that again, with the coronavirus. But the good news is there was participation of the Clergy. Our goal and our goal as an organization was to ensure very early involvement of religious organizations. The Church sensitizes people to coronavirus, and helps with policy.

We saw how the group was really open, since they are the same people who speak to them, they know them. They trust them, as leaders of their faith. The members of the faith use and know the language people of that specific group understand. This turned everything upside down.

For many, many years the infrastructure in this country has been broken down. But for many, many years, people have relied on infrastructures for the Church.

We are receiving reports from our church partners in the areas controlled by rebels in these areas that people are suffering, and we cannot reach those people directly that we are supposed to reach or that we need to reach.

Yet the good news is that there are our friends in the Church. The Church is very, very well equipped to reach out to those people in all this.

Our heart goes to those who are very, very vulnerable in displacement camps at this particular point. Those who are in host families. How about the displaced family that are in Beni right now? How about the families have been hit by flooding in Uvira right now? How about the family that we support in Kalehe that have been relying on our cash distribution or food distribution?

I think we need to look at that level and see how the insecurity of a regular person in this country has gone deeper and deeper, and if we don’t act and act right now we will lose many lives.

What has CAFOD been doing?

There is the positiveness that we as humanitarian workers, particularly as an institution of the Church, are already coming with the experience we had during Ebola, and that experience we are bringing to coronavirus.

We have repurposed some of the funding we had for long-term development to put into coronavirus response and we are supplying food to close to 2,000 households in six communes here in Kinshasa. And we plan to extend this project to further communes.

We learnt from Ebola that it is very, very important to involve young people. We have three initiatives to give young people adequate knowledge about coronavirus, and on WhatsApp they spread the information to other youth. Because they’re trying to tell other young people “Have you seen this? Do you realize you’ve got to do this?” So it’s been growing and we’ve seen a ton of effect from it.

The Catholic Church has community radios in DR Congo, and it is also important to use those community radios because people use their local jargons. So it was also important to use some local people in the group who are already known on the radio to ensure the message is passed on.

What gives you hope?

I was born in this country and now I’m 50 years old and my parents always told me there is hope for tomorrow. And many people my age are losing hope in the future of this country, but I’ve not lost hope.

You see a kid you supported a few years ago and today the kid is going to school, the mother has started a business and has two people working for her because of the microcredit project that CAFOD supplies.

You go to this community that didn’t have water, because there’s probably ten kilometers of clean water out of their village. Then you come across this lady who’s blind, who doesn’t see and she’s telling you that you’ve saved my life because I wash every day now. Now my life has a purpose, because I’m also in the committee that manages water, and I meet with people to mingle with them daily. And you come back with your heart full of gratitude.

I think we’ve made that kind of changes and that’s what keeps us going daily.

Now that the Democratic Republic of Congo has closed all schools because of COVID-19, Cordaid supports hundreds of parent committees all over the vast country to organize homeschooling. “There’s no internet, let alone e-learning facilities in the remote areas. Parents now need to teach their kids, and they can use some support”, says Kinshasa-based Programme Director Charlotte Lepri.

On April 6, 161 COVID-19 cases were confirmed in DR Congo, most of them in Kinshasa and a handful in Eastern Congo. 18 people had died from the virus. “So far, the majority of victims and patients ‘imported’ the disease after they returned from infected areas in Europe and Asia”, Lepri says. “That’s why areas as the international airport and the Gombe, the richest part of Kinshasa where most of the COVID-19 cases are, are closely monitored”, she continues.

A few of Kinshasa’s richer areas have currently been shut down. “They try to prevent the virus from jumping if Kinshasa to the densely populated shanty towns. If it does, that will be a huge problem. It is a dire sign that cases have been confirmed in the poorer and more conflict-affected eastern part of the country, says Lepri. “Hardly any people are tested and, like in the rest of the world, it is really hard to get a clear picture of the spread of the pandemic. But cases and even deaths are bound to be higher in number.”

Early March, Cordaid started to prepare for what was coming. Medical staff from our health care programmes trained colleagues in Kinshasa as well as in the field offices in the east. A lot of the precautions – thorough handwashing, physical distancing – were akin to the ones people still knew from the Ebola crisis.

SCENARIO’S FOR A NEW REALITY

“After this, we worked out confinement scenarios for each of our projects – our vast health care projects, but also those in education, security and justice, and others”, ms Lepri says. “We defined the essentials of our field operations and figured out what could still be done if Cordaid staff worked form home.”

Today, these scenarios are a reality. 90% of Cordaid staff, most of whom are Congolese, works from home, salaries were paid in advance allowing people to stock food and non-food items. Life-saving operations, such as distribution of drugs for patients with HIV and TB, only start with minor delays. IT networks and communications enable home-confined workers to co-ordinate, monitor and carry out new strategies around the clock. International NGOs in DR Congo are working closely together online to ensure humanitarian access and stability during these restricted times.

MAROONED IN TRANSIT

Many local implementing partner organizations, while adhering to national initiatives such as distancing and a ban on 20 + gatherings, continue on the field operations. Global and domestic air traffic is virtually at a standstill. One of our workers was marooned on his way home while in transit. He has waited ten days. “He’s good,” says Lepri. “We just hope he gets home safely soon.”

Before launching new COVID-19 interventions, the first response was to redirect ongoing program activities. “We work closely with thousands of health facilities and with schools all over the country. That network in itself is now an asset in the fight against COVID-19”, says Lepri. All these facilities now do what they can to slow down the spread. “First by raising awareness of risks and prevention. Later, once we manage to procure face masks and other material, we hope to equip health centres for COVID-19 health responses.”

CLOSING CLASSES AND FINDING ALTERNATIVE FORMS OF EDUCATION

The closure of schools was the most drastic nationwide measure for the DR Congo. The decision has been taken by many countries. But unlike wealthy parts of the world with ample e-learning facilities, Congolese kids don’t have many alternative ways to continue some kind of formal education. In reality, it had been a success in the first place for many of them simply going to school. Millions of children in rural areas lack the means to go to class. And many schools lack teachers and means to assure quality education. This is why Cordaid’s results-based financing (RBF) programme supports 1350 schools in improving the quality of their services.

“Currently, all schools in DRC temporarily closed their doors”, Lepri explains. “In practice, this means the curriculum of millions of children and adolescents has stopped. Online learning is not an option for the vast majority. This is why we are working closely with hundreds of the parent committees of schools we work with. And with local radios, who broadcast lectures and educational sessions. Through them, we support alternative education, by providing parents with teaching material. But also with clean water, because even that is lacking. Most parents have just one concern, which is to toil for food and other basic needs. By supporting them, and giving them the means, they can organize some forms of education for children. Even in the strict setting of COVID-19 measures”, Lepri says.

MEANWHILE IN KINSHASA

Meanwhile, in Kinshasa, Charlotte Lepri herself is stuck at home, like a few other billion people around the globe. “Streets are empty here, which is a weird sight. Since today, part of the city is locked down. I am doing okay here. But in some other parts of the city, confinement measures might well bar the majority from earning their day’s wages. In the near future, if lockdowns persist, this is something the government, the international community and aid organisations will need to address. This health crisis can lead to a socio-economic crisis very quickly”, she concludes.

Following two months of compulsory holidays and with an imminent end-of-year review cycle, African authorities are searching for ways to save the academic year.

A major problem remains whether to reopen schools and/or continue the program in an all-inclusive way. After the COVID-19 lockdown, each government is devising its own life plan. Today’s attention is on the congo republic. Primary, secondary and literacy education minister Anatole Collinet Makosso shared with us the plan for the country.

Rwandans, especially border traders with the Democratic Republic of Congo, are crying foul after Kinshasa has introduced new tough travel restrictions to prevent coronavirus spreading (COVID19).

The decision to close the border, which was immediately condemned by the government of Rwanda, came after a 17th coronavirus case was registered in Kigali, prompting the Congo to introduce restrictions where only people with passports and laissez-passer are permitted to cross to their territory.

Residents from around the border region typically traveled to the neighboring country using temporary passes granted to them when they showed a national identification.

Local media reported that since Friday thousands have been stranded on both sides of the crossing between Goma and the Rwandan cities of Rubavu and Gisenyi, the busiest points along the approximately 100-mile frontier.

The New Times quoted Gilbert Habarimana, Mayor of Rubavu District, as saying that border traffic has dropped significantly as many of the border users are small traders, many of whom do not have the travel requirements set by DR Congo.

The New Times also reported that the situation may mean a reduction in trade activity across the border.

Health officials in Rwanda have encouraged people to help avoid the spread of the coronavirus by following hygiene rules such as frequently washing their hands with soap and using disinfectants.

Other interventions include social distancing, avoiding touching faces and recording suspicious cases by calling 114, the toll-free number of the Rwanda Biomedical Centre.

On Wednesday, Rwanda’s government declared extreme travel restrictions including halting all passenger flights in and out of the country as a way to counter COVID-19 spread.

This is in addition to closing schools and places of worship and halting all major events for two weeks, a timeframe that health officials say may be changed depending on prevailing circumstances.

More than 209,000 people have been infected globally, of which at least 86,000 have recovered, while more than 8,700 have died from the epidemic declared a global pandemic by WHO earlier this month.

Five people have died in the country’s Mbandaka, a western town more than 750 miles from another Ebola outbreak. How the disease arose in the town during the lockdown is unclear.

A new outbreak of the deadly Ebola virus has flared up in the Democratic Republic of Congo, a country still dealing with the worst measles epidemic in the world, as well as the coronavirus.

Congo’s health ministry said four people were killed by the new Ebola outbreak, and at least two more were infected in Mbandaka, a city of 1.2 million people on the western side. According to UNICEF, the United Nations agency for children, a fifth person died Monday.

Less than two months ago, Congo was about to declare an official end to an eastern side of the country’s Ebola epidemic that had lasted for nearly two years and killed more than 2,275 people. Then, a new case was found with only two days to go and the outbreak could not be considered over. However, officials say it’s in its final stages.

How Ebola emerged at Mbandaka, which is about 750 miles west of the near-vanquished outbreak on the eastern edge of the country, is unclear. Congo (formerly referred to as Zaire) is the largest country in sub-Saharan Africa, and has been subject to travel restrictions to prevent coronavirus spread.

Until now, reported cases of coronavirus have mostly been in the capital, Kinshasa, also in the west of the country. Congo has reported 3,049 cases of coronavirus including 71 deaths, but testing is limited, so the true scale of the outbreak is not known.

More than 350,000 people have been infected with measles in the country since January 2019, and over 6,500 have died.

Dr. Matshidiso Rebecca Moeti, the regional director of the World Health Organization for Africa, wrote on Twitter that although the new outbreak of Ebola posed a challenge, the W.H.O., together with the Congo Ministry of Health and the African Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, were ready to tackle it.

“With each experience, we respond faster and​more effectively,” Dr. Moeti wrote.

According to UNICEF, the five people who died included a child, aged 15. Two further patients were treated in a city hospital’s isolation unit.

Ebola causes fever, vomiting, fatigue, and pain in the abdomen, killing about half of those that it infects. It is transmitted by contact with sick or dead people or animals and is named in Congo for the Ebola River, where it was first identified, in 1976.

In the West African countries of Guinea , Liberia and Sierra Leone, the largest reported epidemic of Ebola exploded in 2014 and killed more than 11,000 people. But researchers have since developed vaccines and treatment methods that can limit the disease’s transmission.

This isn’t the first time Ebola has reached Mbandaka, a Congo River equatorial port city. One May 2018 outbreak resulted in at least 54 cases and 33 deaths in the region. But the W.H.O. administered over 7,500 doses of an Ebola vaccine to Congo, and the Mbandaka outbreak was quickly brought under control. On July 24 of the same year it was declared over.

In eastern Congo, ongoing violence and insecurity that has forced people to flee their homes have also made it difficult to end the epidemic. By comparison, the western Équateur Province, where the new Ebola cases have emerged, is relatively safe and stable.

Over many years, many Ebola outbreaks have occurred in Congo, and most were resolved relatively quickly.

In response to the coronavirus outbreak, the government placed travel restrictions between the provinces of the country which can now also help limit the spread of Ebola from Mbandaka.

In September 2018, Guylaine Masika, a nurse in the city of Butembo in the eastern part of the Democratic Republic of Congo, fell ill from Ebola after treating an infected person unknowingly.

She was among the first Ebola victims in her region, which contributed to her being ostracized by her entire extended family. She’s one of four widowed daughters. The impact of her Ebola infection has been lasting for her.

“I continue to experience stigmatization at the societal level. I can’t forget these pains in my life,” she said.

Now, her stress burden has been added by the news that COVID-19 has come to the DRC. He is worried about the effects that the disease would have on her body if he contracted it, despite the long-term effect that Ebola would have on her immune system.

“There’s the risks that the outbreak could blow up all over again if you have cases in the community that are not identified,” she said.

COVID-19 is complicating an already complicated situation for those living in Eastern Congo, as the region is struggling from both armed conflict and an Ebola outbreak that has lasted nearly two years and infected thousands.

There was cautious optimism that the Ebola outbreak was over. But two days before the World Health Organization could declare its end, on April 10, a new case emerged.

Now there are 7 confirmed cases of Ebola. This includes four deaths, one recovery, one person in ongoing treatment and one person who fled the treatment center. There are about 1,000 personal contacts connected to those events.

According to Michel Yao, a WHO emergency operations manager in Africa, the person who escaped from the treatment center is believed to be in an area with armed groups, making it difficult for health workers to find him.

It is concerning that there haven’t yet been new cases identified, as a result of this case, given that he has been in the community for over two weeks, said Trish Newport, deputy manager of Médecins Sans Frontières’ Ebola programs in DRC.

Managing both outbreaks

Luckily, large numbers of COVID-19 have still not hit the eastern DRC. According to WHO, health authorities have only reported 13 confirmed cases in the area. Cases were sporadic, and widespread transmission of the community was not detected.

Ebola response activities are largely able to continue amidst the pandemic, with new messaging on COVID-19 integrated into the response, said Pauline Schibli, Ebola programs director at Mercy Corps.

Some operations had to be halted due to COVID-19, like several community awareness programs on Ebola involving mass gatherings, such as church meetings or mosques, said Robert Ghosn, Ebola response activity manager for the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies International Federation. But there are still ongoing door-to-door campaigns, with precautions, and interactive radio programs.

But going forward, if there was a strict lockdown in the area, the response could be seriously hindered, although this form of lockdown in eastern DRC isn’t anticipated in the immediate future, Schibli said. This may impact attempts to treat patients with Ebola and to track contacts.

There are concerns that more Ebola cases could also emerge from survivors of the disease, because it’s possible their bodily fluids, particularly through sexual contact, can cause new infections, according to Dr. Olivier Ngadjole, health adviser to Medair DRC.

While some parts of the Ebola response are similar to that of COVID-19, there are also stark differences. COVID-19 is much more contagious, while Ebola is much more deadly.

Ebola responders learned the hard way it doesn’t work to tell people what to do, without listening to them, Ghosn said. You have to change the Group messaging. For example, because of COVID-19 it would not work to enforce social distancing in eastern DRC due to the need for people to earn a daily wage. A health responder instead might need to go to the market with community members and strategize how to create more space in the market to keep people apart, for example.

A consortium of NGOs that collects information on community perceptions is finding that there is a lot of confusion and suspicion around COVID-19, Schibli said.

There are questions about whether Ebola still exists or if Ebola has morphed into COVID-19, she said. There are also accusations that the “reintroduction” of Ebola was intentional, a plot by international actors to maintain funding.

Controversies surrounding potential COVID-19 vaccine tests in Africa have also damaged the perception of the Ebola vaccine for some who have conflated the two different vaccines which have caused some renewed resistance to it, she added.

In the streets of Kinshasa, some young people are heard singing in the language of Lingala: “corona eza té” or “coronavirus does not exist.”

From its system that collects feedback from communities, IFRC is seeing that there are also high levels of community concern over COVID-19.

“The messages we are getting from the community regarding COVID is one of very, very deep fear — even deeper and stronger than what we had at the highest of the Ebola outbreak,” Ghosn said.

Resources are now split between responding to the coronavirus, Ebola, and other regional outbreaks, including measles, WHO’s Yao said. WHO was forced to tap its own emergency funds for the response to Ebola because donor funding is not enough, he said.

There are also significant challenges around testing for COVID-19. Samples are collected and sent to Kinshasa for the results, he added.

For COVID-19 the limits on travel are more serious than they were for Ebola, which affects the local economy. Kinshasa’s capital city is under lockdown, which has implications throughout the country and the land border with Uganda is closed, which is the livelihood source for millions of people, Ghosn said.

“COVID is already having very dire humanitarian consequences in eastern DRC, irrespective of the number of cases,” Ghosn said.

Timothée Kyatsi, a 23-year-old cosmetics trader from Butembo, had his goods blocked in Kampala when the border closed. He has been forced to raise the price of his products and has resorted to smuggling some of his goods across the border. “My business is not doing well because of this corona. My customers tell me that they only have money for their food,” he said.

As international flights out of the region have stopped, Ghosn said, it’s also difficult to bring in more exports and supplies to reinforce the response because of these restrictions.

But given the difficulties of handling responses to both diseases at the same time, there are certain benefits the country now has in addressing COVID-19 as it has been through the response to Ebola.

One is that the health experts are already on the field. For example, the WHO still has more than 200 employees, technical experts, and support personnel. Communities also have existing capacity to respond to an outbreak, and health workers’ systems in place to engage with these communities.

Another is that unlike other countries that are suspending vaccination programs due to COVID-19, the DRC government provides for the continuity of measles vaccinations. It has been established that such programs could be performed, with precautions, during Ebola, and it assumes that it is also feasible during this pandemic, Newport said.

But as the weeks and months wear on, there is concern about capacity if COVID-19 cases were to drastically increase.

Hospitals are not prepared to combat coronavirus and the health systems are poor. The mortality rate in the country may be as high as 10 per cent, said Jean-Jacques Muyembe, the physician heading Congo’s response to Ebola and COVID-19. “There is no shortcut here. There’s no easy answer. It will be long, and it will be difficult,” Ghosn said.

Coronavirus Updates

Cases of COVID-19 (coronavirus) have been confirmed in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

Local authorities in countries and territories with confirmed COVID-19 cases can enforce containment measures such as travel restrictions and quarantine requirements to prevent the virus from spreading.

These steps can be implemented at short notice, and precise information can change quickly, including where and for whom and for how long they apply. All travelers should be kept aware of the actions that authorities are taking in the areas to which they are flying. We recommend that all travellers consult your country or destination’s official website or nearest embassy or consulate to find out about any border controls and other measures that may apply to you.

In September 2018, Guylaine Masika, a nurse in the city of Butembo in the eastern part of the Democratic Republic of Congo, fell ill from Ebola after unknowingly treating an infected person. She was among the first victims of Ebola in her city, leading to her ostracizing by her entire extended family. She’s one of four widowed daughters. The impact of her Ebola infection has been lasting for her.

“I continue to experience stigmatization at the societal level. I can’t forget these pains in my life,” she said.

Now, her stress burden has been added by the news that COVID-19 has come to the DRC. He is worried about the effects that the disease would have on her body if he contracted it, despite the long-term effect that Ebola would have on her immune system.

COVID-19 is complicating an already complicated situation for those living in Eastern Congo, as the region is struggling from both armed conflict and an Ebola outbreak that has lasted nearly two years and infected thousands.

There was cautious optimism that the Ebola outbreak was over. But two days before the World Health Organization could declare its end, on April 10, a new case emerged.

Now there are 7 confirmed cases of Ebola. It involves four deaths, one rehab, one person in continuing care and one person who has left the treatment centre. There are about 1,000 personal contacts connected to those events.

Michel Yao, WHO’s emergency operations manager in Africa, said the person who escaped from the treatment center is believed to be in an area with armed groups, making it difficult for health workers to find him.

It is concerning that there haven’t yet been new cases identified, as a result of this case, given that he has been in the community for over two weeks, said Trish Newport, deputy manager of Médecins Sans Frontières’ Ebola programs in DRC.

UNHCR, the United Nations Refugee Agency, warns that the recent rounds of violence in eastern parts of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) displacing thousands of people could have terrible consequences for the country as it struggles to launch a new fight against the deadly coronavirus.

Within the borders of the DRC, the single largest internally displaced population in Africa, more than five million people have been rooted out by conflict. More than half a million refugees also live in the country, fleeing unrest and persecution in neighboring countries.

Recent attacks in the provinces of North Kivu and Ituri in recent weeks have reportedly displaced more than 35,000 people including some 25,000 in villages south of Lubero territory.

Elsewhere, stability has worsened in the Ituri province of Djugu Territory where more than 12,000 citizens have so far been displaced this month by a growing number of attacks by unknown assailants.

These attacks hamper humanitarian access, hinder assistance to desperate displaced people, and disrupt vital coordination on COVID-19 prevention and sensitization.

Lasting violence and insecurity in other parts of the country could also make access to public health facilities more difficult for the displaced. Some areas and sites which host displaced people are also overcrowded, making physical and social distancing difficult to enforce.

As confirmed COVID-19 cases continue to increase in the DRC with 287 reported cases and 23 deaths, primarily in the capital city of Kinshasa, UNHCR is working closely with other UN and humanitarian partners to prevent the spread of the disease among refugees and internally displaced people. We are also continuing our activities to protect and help refugees and internally displaced people.

As of now, there have been no reported cases of COVID-19 infection among DRC refugees and asylum seekers. UNHCR is redoubling its efforts to implement measures for the prevention and response of refugee camps and sites.

We are extremely concerned that instability and declining access to humanitarian aid will pose major challenges for the country, which is already overwhelmed and under-resourced by its health care system.

Eastern instability had forced UNHCR partners at the end of March to withdraw workers from the displacement sites in Drodro and Bule in the Ituri region, leaving displaced people without effective assistance. UNHCR and its partners have supported the setting up of 14 humanitarian committees to provide remote management temporarily before the security situation improves.

Our efforts also continue against COVID-19 despite challenges in many other parts of DRC – as we draw lessons from the world’s second-largest Ebola epidemic, which has been affecting the country since 2018.

UNHCR shall, where possible, strengthen its regular health and sanitation activities in camps, sites and transit centres. The latest COVID-19 preventive initiatives include temperature checking at the entry points of parks, sites and transit centres, and the construction of some 365 hand-washing stations, and the initial distribution of more than 23,000 soap bars.

UNHCR is also conducting mass awareness-raising activities on health measures being implemented by the Government and on guidance on preventive measures to lower the risk of infection.

Refugees and displaced persons frequently express fears over the virus, mainly due to misinformation. While physical distancing in overcrowded camps or settlements can be challenging, the advice to regularly wash hands is keenly followed globally.

Across DRC, UNHCR is also supporting the national healthcare system to scale-up its response. We are for instance setting up three isolation centres in the Kasai province where patients with COVID-19 symptoms will be referred to for treatment, hence limiting the burden on public hospitals and health structures.

We are also providing medical supplies, tents, helmets, gloves, and other materials along with our partners to help tackle critical shortages in areas that host refugees and internally displaced persons. They also arise in rural areas where the basic healthcare infrastructure and chronic shortages in the availability of medication are still lacking.

Meanwhile, where appropriate, we are preserving current programmes. We continue to assist the displaced in North Kivu province with cash-based programs to meet a range of needs including access to food, health care, and shelter. We now use mobile money transfers to eliminate physical interactions and have delivered cell phone and SIM cards to more than 5,900 internally displaced households.

In addition, approximately 2,000 asylum seekers from Burundi who have recently arrived and live in a transit center in the province of South Kivu will be relocated to a permanent settlement. Temporary shelters are currently under construction and these new immigrants must stay in quarantine for 14 days, and will receive cash for shelter through mobile money transfers to establish their own shelters.

UNHCR continues its advocacy for equal access to refugees and displaced people in the national health systems being put in place to fight COVID-19.

Operative situation

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.

As of 16 April 2020, the cumulative total of confirmed cases of COVID-19 infection is 287.

In total, there have been 23 deaths and 25 people recovered. More specifically:

  • 101 suspected cases are under investigation;
  • 20 new confirmed cases were recorded in Kinshasa;
  • 2 new people recovered;
  • 1 new death of confirmed cases;
  • 9% Case Fatality Rate (CFR);
  • 141 samples tested;
  • The other cases not indicated are either hospitalized or taken care of off-site by the response teams.

Kinshasa remains the epicenter of the epidemic, with 95.6% (255/267) of all confirmed cases. The most affected Health Zones in Kinshasa are: La Gombe, Binza-Meteo, Binza -Ozone, Limete and Kintambo.

A new health zone is affected in Kinshasa, Kalamu II, which brings to 30 the total number of Health Zones affected in the country.

The humanitarian situation in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) continues to deteriorate due to the activities of armed groups, intra and inter-ethnic/communal violent conflicts, epidemics, natural disasters, and food insecurity. According to the 2020 Humanitarian Needs Overview (HNO), the number of people in need of humanitarian assistance will increase from 12.8 million in 2019 to 15.9 million in 2020. Of these, 8.4 million people lack basic access to WASH services and 8.6 million vulnerable persons lack protection. Furthermore, 5 million internally displaced persons (between October 2017 and September 2019, of which 2.9 million are children) and 2.1 million returnees (from April 2018) are registered.

In this context, the COVID-19 outbreak is creating significant additional pressure on the already overburdened health and social service delivery systems, exacerbating the vulnerabilities of affected populations.

The response of the Democratic Republic of Congo to the Covid-19 pandemic should give priority to helping low-income communities, displaced people and those at highest risk, Human Rights Watch said today.

The Congolese government should quickly initiate an effective communications strategy to provide accurate, timely information on coronavirus containment measures. The government should also be planning for food safety disruption and access to health care, and ensuring that health workers are covered. And the authorities should direct the security forces to enforce the law while respecting basic rights.

“Congo’s government needs to react to the overwhelming Covid-19 crisis with a global approach that respects not only the health but all rights of everyone in the country,” said Lewis Mudge, Central Africa director at Human Rights Watch. “The government should develop aid strategies with local and international partners to reach the most vulnerable populations and ensure that health workers can do their jobs safely.”

As of 2 April 2020, Congolese health officials reported 134 Covid-19 cases with 13 deaths. Most of the cases were in the capital, Kinshasa, whereas in eastern Congo cities a handful were reported. Like elsewhere in the world, however, the real number of cases is most likely higher because testing is minimal, and those with the virus do not display symptoms.

The Congolese government has already taken steps to stop the spread of the virus, including restricting all forms of internal and international travel except for cargo; banning large gatherings; closing bars, restaurants, places of worship and schools; and shutting down borders. Instructions have been given to erect water points for hand washing in public areas, but Human Rights Watch has found that many districts in cities and towns are still awaiting equipment. While public health information campaigns are being rolled out, these efforts should be scaled up nationwide, including by involving respected community leaders and institutions and ensuring that all communications are translated into local languages and dialects.

The Kinshasa-based National Institute for Biomedical Research conducts research and processes all samples of 80 million people throughout the world. The government should decentralize its testing capacity to more effectively identify people infected with Covid-19, and isolate and start treating positive cases more quickly, Human Rights Watch said.

“In Kinshasa, our teams don’t have enough vehicles, and we can only test about 80 people a day [for Covid-19],” a medical worker told Human Rights Watch. The worker said they lack protective equipment and wear the same masks all day. Many health workers await transport to enable them to work and they do not know how and when they will be paid.

Kinshasa residents say people with possible symptoms of Covid-19 are unable to get through to the hotlines made available to warn health authorities about reported cases.

Health staff who reviewed government documents detailing the capability of the health care system, also interpreted by Human Rights Watch, raised concerns that hospitals assigned to treat the sickest patients in Covid-19 will remain underequipped. There are only a few dozen ventilators available throughout the country, hospitals lack oxygen supplies and there is scarcity of functional intensive care units.

Kinshasa’s provincial governor, Gentiny Ngobila, announced on April 2 that Kinshasa’s business district, Gombe, will be on total lockdown for 14 days, starting on April 6. As officials consider extending the lockdown to other districts and cities, they should recognize that strictly confining people at home will hurt millions who work in the informal sector and live hand-to-mouth. The government will take measures to optimize the resources available, so that people have adequate food and access to clean water. The authorities should work with neighborhood and community groups, worship houses and local and international aid organizations to ensure the health and well-being of all, including by organizing distributions of food and water in the most at-risk neighborhoods. The government and its partners should also address health issues other than Covid-19.

During the response to an Ebola outbreak in late 2018 in eastern Congo, mistrust, confusion and skepticism triggered violence against health workers, helping to spread the virus while vital aid was partially suspended.

On March 26, the governor of Kinshasa had announced that the entire city would begin a three-week intermittent lockdown, starting on March 28. Panicked crowds of people rushed to banks, supermarkets, and markets to stock up on food and supplies, causing staple prices to skyrockets. On the evening of March 27, the authorities suspended the lockdown plans, revealing disagreements between provincial officials and the central government.

When the first Covid-19 case was confirmed on March 10 in Congo, there was confusion as sometimes there was inaccuracy in information from the health minister and regional government officials. Civil society groups and many Congolese have expressed their frustration as the government has struggled to communicate accurate information and an effective plan to respond to the pandemic.

The United Nations agency for refugees, UNHCR, has put in place protective measures in camps for internally displaced people and refugees which should be ramped up to all sites as a matter of urgency. More than five million displaced people throughout the country live in dire conditions and already need life-saving assistance including food, water and health care. Covid-19 could put displaced people and refugees at a heightened risk of mortality should the virus reach the camps.

State security forces, in responding to lawbreaking and violence, should respect human rights including only using force when strictly necessary. On March 29, Gen. Sylvano Kasongo, the head of police in Kinshasa, appeared to be ordering police officers to beat a motorcycle-taxi driver, in apparent “punishment” for violating social distancing measures, video footage indicated.

On March 30, police killed at least 3 people and wounded 11 others, according to a UN source, when they fired live rounds at members of the political-religious Bundu dia Kongo movement who demonstrated in Kinshasa to “chase the coronavirus spirit.” The authorities should issue clear orders to the security forces that they are to act with restraint while enforcing restrictions in place.

“The Congolese government’s response to the pandemic should start with a robust communication plan to gain the people’s trust,” Mudge said. “But it will need to quickly put in place rights-respecting humanitarian measures. The survival of millions of people will depend on it.”

Borders are closed and travel to and from the capital is banned after four people have died from virus and more than 50 new cases have been reported.

Four people died from the new coronavirus in the Democratic Republic of Congo, and more than fifty new cases were confirmed. President Felix Tshisekedi declared an emergency.

Borders are closed and travel to and from the capital, Kinshasa, has been banned.

The Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) on Tuesday announced the first case of the novel coronavirus in the country.

A Belgian citizen who has been in the country for several days has tested positively for coronavirus, Minister of Health Eteni Longondo said.

The person was put in quarantine in a hospital in the capital city Kinshasa, he added.

”I would like to announce to the Congolese population that we diagnosed this morning the first case of coronavirus. It has been discovered in a Belgian national who has come to stay here for a few days,” Longondo said.

But he said there was no need to panic because the situation was under control and urged the public to calm down but put preventive measures into action, particularly those that included cleanliness.

The virus originated in China but reached more than 100 countries, with the World Health Organization (WHO) saying Monday that “the threat of a pandemic has become very real.”

The global death toll from the coronavirus is now over 4,000, with nearly 114,000 confirmed cases.

As part of efforts to contain the outbreak, some governments closed borders and suspended land and air travel with the worst-hit countries.

No new Ebola cases in three weeks

In addition, the DRC has not confirmed any new Ebola cases for the last three weeks.

The WHO recommends waiting for two full incubation periods, or 42 days, before declaring the end of the outbreak after the last person tests negative a second time.

Ebola, a tropical fever that first originated in Sudan and the DRC in 1976, can be transmitted from wild animals to humans.

More than 120 cases were registered per week at the height of the Ebola outbreak, with cases appearing 1200 kilometers apart.

In 2014, when the world’s worst outbreak began in West Africa, Ebola sparked global panic, killing more than 11,300 people and infecting an additional 28,600 as it spread through Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone.

The response of the Democratic Republic of Congo to the Covid-19 pandemic should give priority to helping low-income communities, displaced people and those at highest risk, Human Rights Watch said today.

The Congolese government should quickly initiate an effective communications strategy to provide accurate, timely information on coronavirus containment measures. The government should also be planning for food safety disruption and access to health care, and ensuring that health workers are covered. And the authorities should direct the security forces to enforce the law while respecting basic rights.

“Congo’s government needs to react to the overwhelming Covid-19 crisis with a global approach that respects not only the health but all rights of everyone in the country,” said Lewis Mudge, Central Africa director at Human Rights Watch. “The government should develop aid strategies with local and international partners to reach the most vulnerable populations and ensure that health workers can do their jobs safely.”

As of 2 April 2020, Congolese health officials reported 134 Covid-19 cases with 13 deaths. Most of the cases were in the capital, Kinshasa, while a handful were reported in eastern Congo towns. Like elsewhere in the world, however, the real number of cases is most likely higher because testing is minimal, and those with the virus do not display symptoms.

The Congolese government has already taken steps to stop the spread of the virus, including restricting all forms of internal and international travel except for cargo; banning large gatherings; closing bars, restaurants, places of worship and schools; and shutting down borders. Instructions have been given to erect water points for hand washing in public areas, but Human Rights Watch has found that many districts in cities and towns are still awaiting equipment. While public health information campaigns are being rolled out, these efforts should be scaled up nationwide, including by involving respected community leaders and institutions and ensuring that all communications are translated into local languages and dialects.

The Kinshasa-based National Institute for Biomedical Research conducts research and processes all samples of 80 million people throughout the world. The government should decentralize its testing capacity to more effectively identify people infected with Covid-19, and isolate and start treating positive cases more quickly, Human Rights Watch said.

“In Kinshasa, our teams don’t have enough vehicles, and we can only test about 80 people a day [for Covid-19],” a medical worker told Human Rights Watch. The worker said they lack protective equipment and wear the same masks all day. Many health workers await transport to enable them to work and they do not know how and when they will be paid.

Kinshasa residents say that people having potential Covid-19 symptoms struggle to get through to hotlines made available to alert the health authorities about suspected cases.

Health staff who reviewed government documents detailing the capability of the health care system, also interpreted by Human Rights Watch, raised concerns that hospitals assigned to treat the sickest patients in Covid-19 will remain underequipped. There are only a few dozen ventilators available throughout the country, hospitals lack oxygen supplies and there is scarcity of functional intensive care units.

On April 2 the provincial governor of Kinshasa, Gentiny Ngobila, declared that the business district of Kinshasa, Gombe, will be in complete lockdown for 14 days, beginning on April 6. As officials consider expanding the lockdown to other districts and cities, they should realize that strictly confining people at home would harm millions of people who work in the informal sector and live hand to mouth. The government will take measures to optimize the resources available, so that people have adequate food and access to clean water. The authorities will collaborate with neighborhood and civic associations, worship houses and local and foreign aid organizations to ensure the safety and well-being of everyone, including by arranging deliveries of food and water in the most at-risk communities. The government and its partners should also address health issues other than Covid-19.

Distrust, misinformation, and suspicion during the response to an Ebola outbreak in late 2018 in eastern Congo sparked violence against health workers, helping the virus spread while critical assistance was partially suspended.

On March 26, the governor of Kinshasa had announced that the entire city would begin a three-week intermittent lockdown, starting on March 28. Panicked crowds of people rushed to banks, supermarkets, and markets to stock up on food and supplies, causing staple prices to skyrockets. On the evening of March 27, the authorities suspended the lockdown plans, revealing disagreements between provincial officials and the central government.

When the first Covid-19 case was confirmed on March 10 in Congo, there was confusion as sometimes there was inaccuracy in information from the health minister and regional government officials. Civil society organizations and many Congolese have expressed their anger as the government has failed to convey reliable information and an effective strategy to respond to the pandemic.

The United Nations refugee agency, UNHCR, has put prevention measures in place in camps for internally displaced people and refugees that should be urgently ramped up to all sites. More than five million displaced people live in dire conditions across the country and are already in need of life-saving assistance, including food, water, and health care. Covid-19 could put displaced people and refugees at a heightened risk of mortality should the virus reach the camps.

State security forces will respect human rights in their response to lawbreaking and violence including the use of force only when strictly appropriate. On March 29, the police head in Kinshasa, Gen. Sylvano Kasongo, reportedly ordered police officers to beat a motorcycle-taxi driver in apparent “punishment” for violating social distancing steps, video footage showed.

On March 30, the police killed at least 3 people and wounded 11 others, according to a UN source, when they fired live rounds at members of the Bundu dia Kongo politico-religious movement who were demonstrating in Kinshasa to “chase the spirit of the coronavirus.” The authorities should issue clear orders to the security forces that they are to act with restraint while enforcing restrictions in place.

“The Congolese government’s response to the pandemic should start with a robust communication plan to gain the people’s trust,” Mudge said. “But it will need to quickly put in place rights-respecting humanitarian measures. The survival of millions of people will depend on it.”

The Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) authorities have placed revised restrictions on curbing the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) as of 6 April:

From 6 April, Goma, Province of North Kivu, will be quarantined for two weeks. Travel will be suspended between town and surrounding area. Trade between the town and neighboring towns will continue, and markets for vital products will remain open. Residents were advised to stay within.

Travel between Goma, Butembo, and Beni, all in North Kivu, has been suspended through at least April 20.

The municipality of Gombe, in Kinshasa district of Lukunga, is quarantined from April 6-20. This will shut down non-essential businesses. All the residents will live in their homes. Entry to the municipality will be given only to health staff. An earlier decision to place all of Kinshasa on rotational lockdown from March 28 was reversed by authorities.

Existing measures since March 26:

All land borders, airports, and maritime entry ports were closed for passenger transit. Under heightened screening measures commercial and freight transport will proceed.

Restrictions on travel between Kinshasa and other provinces are in effect; all domestic flights, as well as road and river transport between Kinshasa and the provinces, have been suspended for passenger traffic indefinitely. Under heightened screening measures commercial and freight transport will proceed.

Public meetings had been banned by authorities. Markets, restaurants and bars shall remain closed until further notice. Most universities and schools will remain closed until at least April 17.

Penalties for persons who violate lockout laws are undefined. For compliance security forces will be deployed. The DRC’s security forces can employ force to ensure compliance.

The DRC declared a state of emergency to limit the spread of COVID-19 effective March 24. Over the coming days additional measures are likely to avoid the spread of COVID-19 in the DRC.

Background and Analysis

The measures taken by the government in response to the spread of COVID-19 correspond with similar actions taken by other regional governments in recent days. COVID-19 is a respiratory viral disease caused by a SARS-CoV-2 virus infection (formerly known as 2019-nCoV). Symptoms develop 1-14 days after exposure (3-7 days average). These symptoms include fever, tiredness, cough, trouble breathing, often progressing to pneumonia and kidney failure-especially in those with underlying medical conditions. The ongoing COVID-19 outbreak was declared a pandemic by the WHO on March 11.

No, Coronavirus is a virus or germ that causes an infectious disease known as Coronavirus Disease 2019 or soon abbreviated as COVID-19. Coronavirus is not a new infection in the world of pathology; but new type that is part of the larger family of coronaviruses, such as MERS and SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome) for a long time.

In either case, this new strain of coronavirus appears to be more sporadic than the previous two combined, given the numbers of causalities recorded in its wake.

COVID-19 is just an abbreviation for the Coronavirus COVID-19 disease. ‘CO,’ is Corona. ‘VI,’ is for virus. ‘D.’ stands for Disease and 19 stands for 2019. Therefore COVID-19 means Coronavirus disease 2019.

A pandemic is an infectious disease that surpasses international borders (globally). A pandemic usually affects large numbers of people globally or more widely. However, seasonal epidemics are not considered pandemics.

Using this concept, pandemics can be said to occur every year in each of the temperate southern and northern hemispheres, given that recurrent scourges cross universal borders and affect an enormous number of people.

The COVID-19 that began as an epidemic in China has now become a pandemic. There are many examples pandemics in history, the most recent being the COVID-19 pandemic declared as such on 12 March 2020 by the World Health Organization.

Most people around the globe wonder:-How did Coronavirus start? Was it man made with Coronavirus? Was corona virus a target for bio? Where did the corona virus come from? Whence came the corona virus? What’s Coronavirus History?

Coronavirus originated or began in the province of Hubei, in the Chinese city of Wuhan. The virus is thought to have originated from the seafood industry, and is thought to have spread to humans from live animals sold here.

As of today, all published research findings indicate this virus is normal, not man-made or in any way altered.

Yeah, coronavirus mutates out there just like the other virus. However, the rate at which this virus mutates is slow. Therefore it does not serve as a major stumbling block in the efforts made to create a vaccine for it.

Symptoms of COVID-19 Coronavirus

Signs and symptoms of coronavirus are no different from the flu or cold, varying from mild to less-typical to severe.

Common symptoms of Coronavirus include;

  • Fever
  • Cough
  • Fatigue

Serious symptoms of Coronavirus include;

  • Shortness or difficulty in breathing
  • Pain, or pressure in the chest
  • Loss of speech or movement

Less frequent symptoms of Coronavirus include;

  • Arches and pains
  • Sore throat
  • Diarrhea
  • Conjunctivitis
  • Headache
  • Loss of taste or smell
  • A rash on the skin, discoloration of fingers or toes

Coronavirus symptoms do not differ with common flu (influenza) or cold. Testing therefore is necessary to confirm that someone has COVID-19 or the common cold.

While many people worldwide have built up immunity to seasonal flu strains, COVID-19 is a new virus that only a few people have immunity to. So, this means that more people are likely to become diagnosed with the COVID-19 coronavirus disease.

Nearly 3.4% of confirmed COVID-19 cases have died globally. On the other hand, for the most part, seasonal flu kills far less than 1% of those infected.

By taking the following simple precautions you can reduce the chances of getting COVID-19 or spread;

  • Clean your hands regularly and thoroughly by rubbing your hand with alcohol or an alcohol based hand sanitizer. You can also wash them with water and soap. This will help you to destroy the viruses that get into your hands.
  • Maintain space of at least 1 meter (3 feet) between yourself and others. When someone who is diagnosed with COVID-19 coughs, sneezes, or talks, they release tiny liquid droplets from the nose or mouth. If you are too close you can inhale the droplets and get infected with the virus as a result.
  • Avoid visiting crowded places. Why? Where people near in crowds, you are more likely to come in close contact with someone who has COIVD-19, so it is not easier to take care of 1 meter (3 feet) of physical distance.
  • Do not touch the eyes, nose or mouth. Why? Because these parts are soft and can quickly be used as a passageway for the virus into your body. The other reason for this is that hands touch many surfaces and could acquire viruses. When infected, the virus can be transmitted to the eyes, nose or mouth by hand.
  • Make sure you practice good respiratory hygiene, and the people around you. This can best be seen by using your bent elbow or tissue to cover your mouth and nose once you have coughed or sneezed. If you have used a tissue, dispose of it immediately and wash your hands to get rid of any viruses that might linger on it.
  • Stay home and isolate yourself until you recover, even with slight symptoms including cough, headache and moderate fever. When you plan to leave your house, wear a mask to avoid infecting others.
  • If you have issues with temperature, cough and breathing, seek medical attention but call first, if possible, and follow the guidelines of the local health authority. This is also only because the national and local authorities will have the most up-to – date information about the situation in your region, and calling forward would enable the doctors to easily guide you to the right medical institution. This will also protect you, and help prevent the spread of viruses and other infections.
  • Get the latest information from trusted sources like the World Health Organization or your local and national health authorities. Why? For what? State and national authorities are better positioned to comment on what people in your region can do to protect themselves.

Effects of COVID-19 Coronavirus to the body

People infected with Coronavirus experience or develop certain signs and symptoms such as fatigue, fever, cough, and shortness of breath, as described above. These symptoms grow as the body’s immune system reacts to the infection. When the immune system detects an offensive invader (virus) it releases the chemicals called cytokines. This chemical acts as a signal to the rest of the body that something is wrong and in turn causes you to experience these symptoms as it puts up a strong fight against the virus that is intruding.

Many people will experience COVID-19 in a more serious form and this will require special care from trained physicians. Therefore, you are recommended that you go for checkup when you get these symptoms.

COVID-19 Coronavirus and how it spreads

Coronavirus is spread in many forms. The most popular ones that have proven the easiest way of transferring the virus from one person to another are as follows.

  • Through respiratory droplets:

If an individual coughs, sneezes or speaks, he or she releases tiny droplets from the nose and mouth. According to scientists, these droplets can fly several feet, and can be easily breathed in by a nearby human (person). When you inhale these droplets, you become infected. Therefore it is important to maintain a distance of more than two meters from any sick person that has those symptoms.

  • Through touching the surface affected by the infected person:

Coronavirus can survive for some time on objects or surfaces. If you’re living around or in the same area with the victim of Coronavirus, you’re bound to get the disease if you touch the surfaces and objects they touched.

When you touch these objects or surface and touch your eyes, nose, or mouth, you can become infected.

Asymptomatic means that symptoms do not show up. As for asymptomatic coronavirus transmission, only few cases have been identified. However, this does not rule out the possibility of it happening.

Answer is yes. Touching an infected person’s clothing isn’t recommended. When you need to touch them wear safety gear such as gloves, boots, face masks and others.

Yes, the virus will spread through the air, particularly if the sick person coughs or sneezes without covering his mouth or nose. In this case, in the mucus droplets that carry the virus, the surrounding person may easily inhale them or breathe then in and get infected.

People at Risk of contracting COVID-19 Coronavirus

Individuals with poor immune systems are the ones who according to health experts have the most prominent chances of contracting this harmful infection. However, there is no assurance that you will not contract the virus if you have a good immune system.

The Coronavirus pandemic has major consequences for the global population. Old people are currently facing the principal hazards and challenges in several nations. Since all age groups are likely to contract COVID-19, older people face a greater risk of serious disease due to physiological changes that arise with aging and possible underlying conditions of health.

Treatment for Coronavirus or Cure for Coronavirus

Scientists claim that as of today there is no proper cure for this deadly virus and therefore the antibiotics currently on the market are of no great benefit as this can be a pneumonia virus which makes antibiotic treatment ineffective against the virus.

No vaccines are available for all identified coronaviruses that can infect humans, including Middle Eastern Respiratory Syndrome and Extreme Acute Respiratory Syndrome, and now COVID-19. Currently, there are several clinical trials under way to assess alternative treatments for COVID-19. Scientists are also optimistic that a vaccine will be available soon as several successful vaccine studies are approved in countries like China, the US, Germany, Netherlands, Italy and France.

Nevertheless, many of the Coronavirus symptoms have been identified, so having early treatment from a health care provider will make the infection less severe.

Recovery time for Coronavirus patients

The average time clinical time for one to recover fully from COVID-19 for moderate cases is around 2 weeks from infection. For moderate cases, it takes about 3-6 weeks for patients with a serious or critical disease.

Frequently Asked Questions

A novel coronavirus has not been previously identified.  It is a new virus that causes a disease called COVID-19 or Coronavirus disease in 2019. It is different from the coronaviruses that circulate commonly in humans and cause mild illness such as a cold. A diagnosis of coronavirus 229E, NL63, OC43, or HKU1 is not synonymous with a diagnosis of COVID-19.

Due to the fact that there are many types of human coronaviruses, including those that commonly cause mild diseases of the upper respiratory tract, the WHO had to come up with a name to identify this particular disease because it was a new virus not seen before in humans. The name of this disease was chosen following best practice by the World Health Organization (WHO) for naming new infectious diseases in humans.

On 11 February 2020 the World Health Organization named an official name. The official name for this disorder, abbreviated as COVID-19, is Coronavirus disease 2019. ‘CO’ stands for ‘corona’ in COVID-19; ‘VI’ for ‘virus’ and ‘D’ for disease. This disease had formerly been noted as “2019 novel coronavirus” or “2019-nCoV.”

Yes! A person with COVID-19 may have the disease spread to others. Why? It is because Coronavirus can easily spread from person to person. The most infectious are those with COVID-19 signs, or those with serious illnesses. With this reason, CDC and the W.H.O suggests that these patients be treated either at the hospital or at home (depending on how they are) before they get well and no longer pose the risk of infecting others.

Furthermore, it is not just the symptomatic people that may infect others, but also asymptomatic patients (those that are sick but have no signs or symptoms of the disease) can spread the virus without even realizing it.

Quarantine means isolating an individual or group of people who have been infected with an infectious disease such as COVID-19 but have not had symptoms to prevent the disease from being transmitted. The length of time the person spends in quarantine is calculated by the incubation duration of the communicable disease. During that time an infected person may develop signs and symptoms of the disease.

The incubation or quarantine time for COVID-19 is for 14 days. This also means that he or she is not considered a risk of spreading the virus to others after someone is released from COVID-19 isolation because they did not experience illness during the incubation period.

Coronavirus mortality is currently decreasing in a few nations, including Italy, the UK, China, France, Belgium, Germany, South Korea, Japan, and the Australia. Nevertheless, there are many countries such as Brazil, US, Chile, India and several others where cases of death from Coronavirus continue to rise rapidly.

Many countries have different approaches to data collection and analysis than those used by CDC, John Hopkins or the WHO, thereby creating differences in the overall number of cases. CDC’s COVID-19 case reports provide several publicly published reports including information on national, local, tribal, international, and external partners.

No, it’s very difficult to believe that the hot weather would stop the coronavirus as the virus has already spread out to the world. Most nations haven’t reached their peak number of illnesses and deaths.

The other theory is that the world has more than 6.7 million cases of corona virus, as of today.

When someone gives you a clear date from which they believe that the coronavirus will vanish, realize that you are being lied because no one knows when this virus is going to end. It’s basically because this virus has the ability to live inside someone without displaying any signs or symptoms and yet they can still unknowingly pass it on to someone else. But when an effective vaccine is made, one sure way we can expect this virus to stop.

Coronaviruses have existed for some time but there are no vaccines for all viruses, including Middle Eastern Respiratory Syndrome and Extreme Acute Respiratory Syndrome.

There are two main research groups on coronavirus. Both include the Molecular Coronavirus test as well as the Serological (Antibody) test. All tests function differently and choosing which test to use would depend on what you are interested in. A positive molecular test suggests an active COVID-19 infection but does not rule out bacterial infections or co-infections with other viruses; but this can only be achieved to a smaller proportion, making the test highly reliable.

Serological tests are based on antibodies found in a blood sample that are typically obtained by a simple finger prick. Such tests do not require special equipment to examine the samples, so they can either be used in laboratories or at the treatment stage. Antibodies are proteins that the body produces as it stages a virus attack reaction. The serological test is intended to identify antibodies specifically the Immunoglobulin M (IgM) antibodies that are produced in response to your immune system.

You can decide the corona zone you are in by following the global Coronavirus map established by the Center for Disease Control (CDC) in collaboration with the World Health Organization which has regional sectors.

WHO and CDC regions with Coronavirus include Africa, African territories, Americas that mix all countries in South America , Central America, American territories and countries in North America except the USA, Europe, European territories, Eastern Mediterranean, South East Asia, Western Pacific, Western Pacific. To find out more about which countries belong to each of those regions, please visit the CDC Global COVID-19 World Map.

You should eat foods that contain calcium, dietary fibre, protein and antioxidants. You have to drink enough water too. Eat fruits like pineapples, mangoes, bananas etc. It is also recommended to use fruits, legumes (e.g. lentils, beans), nuts and whole grains (e.g., unprocessed maize, millet, oats, wheat, rice or starchy tubers or roots such as potato, yam, taro or cassava). You can eat foods derived from animals (e.g. meat, fish, eggs, and milk). For snacks, instead of foods high in sugar, fat or salt, select raw vegetables and fresh fruit.

Recent results from the research indicate no possibility that novel Coronavirus can be transmitted by food. There is therefore a need for relevant research.

Coronaviruses are unable to withstand higher temperatures and high humidity but at lower temperatures they can live for longer periods. However, there is no definitive scientific proof for COVID-19 that high temperatures will kill the virus. Whatever the temperatures, please follow the CDC and W.H.O instructions on how to prevent this disease from spreading.

Community spread is when people get infected with the virus and it’s no longer possible to trace for contacts since many people will not be sure how or where they became infected

There is currently no research-based evidence that indicates that mosquitoes or ticks have transmitted or are transmitting this new coronavirus or other similar coronaviruses. Coronavirus is spread from person to person.

The CDC and the W.H.O. have several guidelines for how to defend yourself from COVID-19, and those around you. These encompass the following;

  1. Knows how the disease spreads;
  • Since there is currently no COVID-19 preventive vaccine available, preventing exposure to the virus is the best way to prevent this disease.
  • It is presumed that the spread of the virus is primarily from person to person, particularly among those in close contact with each other, through respiratory droplets created when the infected person coughs, sneezes or talks. These droplets can end up in nearby people’s mouths or ears, or can be inhaled into the lungs. Recent work has shown that even among people who do not seem to have symptoms COVID-19 is being transmitted.
  1. Will everyone;
  • Wash your hands regularly for at least 20 seconds with soap and water, particularly after blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing while in public.
  • Using a hand sanitizer containing at least 60 per cent of alcohol unless soap and water are readily available.
  • Do not put unwashed hands on your nose, eyes and mouth.
  1. Avoid close contact
  • Even at home, avoid direct communication with ill people. Keep 6 feet between the person who is ill and other members of the household if possible.
  • Placed barriers outside of your home between yourself and other people.
  • Note some people will transmit the virus without symptoms.
  • Keep at least 6 feet (about 2 arms long) away from other men.
  • Stay away from crowded spots, preventing mass gatherings.
  1. Cover your mouth and nose with a cloth face cover when around others
  • You can spread COVID-19 to others even though you are not feeling sick.
  • Everyone should wear a cloth face mask when they have to go out to the grocery store or pick up other items in public, for example.
  • The cotton face mask is intended to protect you in case you’re sick.
  • Do not use a facemask for health-care workers.
  • Tissue face coverings should not be placed on small children under the age of 2; anyone with respiratory issues or is unconscious, injured or otherwise unable to remove the mask without assistance.
  • Hold between yourself and others, about 6 feet. The facet cover of the fabric is no replacement for social distancing.
  1. Deal with cough and sneezes
  • If you’re in a private setting and don’t have facial covering on your cloth, remember to always cover your mouth and nose with tissue when you cough or sneeze or use your elbow inside.
  • Put the discarded tissue in the garbage.
  • Clean your hands right away with at least 20 seconds of soap and water. When soap and water are not readily available, disinfect your hands with a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60 percent alcohol.
  1. Clean and disinfect
  • Clean and disinfect surfaces which are touched regularly every day. Included here are tables, partitions, light switches, countertops, handlebars, desks, telephones, toilets, towels and sinks.
  1. Supervise your health
  • Alert about signs. Watch for fever, coughing, breathlessness or any other signs of COVID-19.
  • It is particularly important that you go to the office or workplace and to settings where it may be difficult to maintain a physical distance of 6 metres.

The gap should be at least one meter (3 feet) between yourself and others. That is because when someone coughs, sneezes or speaks they release tiny liquid droplets from their nose or mouth that might contain the virus and if you’re too close you can breathe in the droplets, even the COVID-19 virus if the person has the disease.

Below are a number of suggested guidelines for CDC and WHO you can follow if you get sick or think you are infected with COVID-19 or care about someone who is ill.

  • Stay indoors. Most people with COVID-19 have a mild illness, and may recover at home without medical attention. Besides seeking medical attention you should not leave home just contact health workers. Should not visit places of public interest.
  • Watch yourself. Rest, and stay hydrated. Taking over-the-counter medications such as acetaminophen, to make you feel better.
  • Keep in touch with your Doctor. You can call, though, before you get medical attention. Make sure to be alert if you have breathing issues, or if you have any other signs of emergency notice, or if you think this is an emergency.
  • The avoidance of public transit, ride-sharing or taxis.
  • Set yourself apart from others
  • Stay in a single space as much as possible and away from other people and pets in your house. You can use a separate bathroom where possible. When you need to be with someone else
  • Track the signs of Coronavirus COVID-19 including:-fever, cough, or other signs.

When you show one of the symptoms for Coronavirus COVID-19 below, should you seek emergency medical treatment;

  • Trouble breathing
  • Lasting chest pain or pressure
  • Inability to wake up or to stay awake
  • Lips or bluish eyes

Note: Please call in and inform the operator that you are seeking treatment for someone who has or may have Coronavirus COVID-19.

  • Call ahead. Many daily appointments for medical care are delayed or made by telephone or telemedicine.
  • If you have a medical appointment that cannot be postponed, please call the physician’s office and inform them you have COVID-19 or maybe you do. This will help protect yourself at the workplace as well as other patients.
  • Keep your nose and mouth covered with a cloth if you’re ill.
  • You should wear a face mask, over your nose and mouth if you have to be around other people or animals, like pets (even at home).
  • If you’re on your own, you don’t have to wear a face cover on the cloth. If you can’t put face covering on a cloth (for example due to breathing difficulties), cover your coughs and sneezes in a different way. Seek to stay behind other people at least 6 feet away. This will help protect the people around you.
  • Do not place face-cover clothes on young children under 2 years of age, people with trouble breathing, or someone who cannot remove the cover without support.

Note: Facemasks of medical grade are reserved for the healthcare staff and certain first responders during the COVID-19 pandemic. You may need to use a scarf or bandana to make yourself a cotton face covering to act as a mask.

There is still much unclear information about COVID-19 and how it spreads, except that it is transmitted from person to person through droplets, it is unlikely to spread via domestic or foreign mail, products, or packaging.

Nevertheless, individuals may be able to get COVID-19 by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it and then touching their own mouth, nose, or possibly eyes, but this is still not considered to be the most common manner in which the virus spreads.

Blood donation is life-saving in healthcare environments around the world, and is an integral aspect of treatment for patients. There is a growing need for donated blood, and blood centers are open and donations are so urgent. CDC and W.H.O urge people who are still in a good place to donate blood if they can, even though they maintain social isolation due to COVID 19. CDC assists blood centers by offering guidelines that would protect donors and employees. Examples of these guidelines include placing donor chairs 6 feet apart, closely adhering to environmentally friendly cleaning methods and urging donors to make donation appointments earlier than time.

Stigma occurs when individuals of a particular population negatively perceive a communicable disease, such as COVID-19. Sadly, it is true that many of those that have suffered from COVID-19 but have recovered from it have endured a certain degree of stigma when released into their families, as certain people would still connect them with the disease, regardless of the fact that by the time they are released from hospitals they have completely healed from the disease and do not pose a risk of infection.

Flattening the curve at any given time means reducing the rate of new infections. It effectively helps hospital providers to efficiently handle the same patient volume without straining the healthcare system at all

Recommendations

Travel

In general, avoiding unnecessary journeys is recommended. If travel is a must, then you must respect for barrier movements is shown in the case of travel;

  • Track the coronavirus symptoms regularly (cough, breathing difficulties)
  • Measure your temperature twice a day
  • Wash your hands regularly and properly
  • Avoid contact with older people and the disabled because they are at risk

There are more than 6.7 million COVID-19 infections and about 398,000 deaths worldwide as of June 07th 2020, according to estimates from the W.H.O. Within the largest cases of disease and deaths are Americas and Europe. You may also search WHO corona statistics which are regularly updated. Please follow this link to find more statistics.

COVID-19 Coronavirus & Hypertension (high blood pressure)

Given the latest available study results, it is not clear that people with elevated blood pressure and other underlying health problems are more likely to get seriously ill from Coronavirus COVID-19 than others. However, it is understood that many people who have become severely ill with Coronavirus COVID-19 have high blood pressure, but they are also older or have other medical conditions such as obesity, diabetes, and significant heart diseases that put them at a higher risk of Coronavirus COVID-19 severe illness.

COVID-19 Coronavirus & Children

Based on available evidence, children are at no higher risk of contracting Coronavirus compared to the adults. However, it should be noted that COVID-19 children and babies have been reported, but most of the adults have been recorded to date.

Symptoms of coronavirus COVID-19 are common in infants and adults. Nevertheless, children with reported coronavirus usually suffered from mild symptoms. For children reported symptoms include cold-like symptoms such as fever, runny nose and cough. Vomiting and diarrhea were also registered. Certainly it is not yet understood that some children, particularly those with existing medical conditions and special needs for health care, are also at a higher risk of serious illness.

The transmission of the COVID-19 virus through breast milk and breastfeeding has not been detected. A mother should still implement appropriate hygiene measures during breastfeeding, including wearing a medical mask if available, to reduce the likelihood of droplets spreading to her infant with COVID-19.

Regardless of the possibility of suffocation, it is not advisable to put cloth face covers on babies or children under 2 years. Kids under the age of 2 are treated as an exception as well as someone who has respiratory problems or is unconscious, deaf or otherwise unable to remove the face cover without assistance.

The use of face masks is a measure of public health to minimize the spread of COVID-19, where social isolation, regular hand washing and preventive steps are not available on a daily basis. In case the wearer is positive for COVID-19, it is designed to wear a face mask to prevent the wearer from spreading the virus to another. When anyone was infected but had no signs it would be especially important. Medical face masks and N95 respirators are reserved only for health care workers and other first responders as suggested in existing CDC guidelines.

If you want to talk about the outbreak with your children you need to be cool and reassure them they are safe. Show them, if possible, that most COVID-19 disease appears to be mild and shouldn’t worry too much but should be careful not to get sick. Children respond differently to stressful situations than adults do.

It does not proved that Coronavirus presents a particular threat to expectant mothers, according to what is generally known. Therefore, pregnant women are not entitled to further preventive measures other than those normally prescribed during pregnancy.

School Dismissals & Children

Children are not even allowed to go and hang out with other children from other families. It is mainly because practice of social distance is the key to slowing COVID-19 spread. Unless it is absolutely important for these children to interact with other individuals outside of their own families, they will try to keep 6 feet from someone who is not in their own household.

Help your kids have monitored phone calls or video chats with their friends to help them stay socially linked with their friends without being socially distancing.

Here are a few of the instructions you should follow to ensure that your child is kept informed.

  • Keep in touch with your child’s kindergarten.

Most schools have services for virtual learning. Knowing what the school has to give to your child in terms of assignments is important to you. To complete the work you’ll need to help your child set a reasonable pace. You may will need to help switch devices on, read directions and type your child’s answers. In case of technology or communication issues you should notify the boy’s school.

  • Establish in-house learning schedule and routine but remain flexible.

You need to set up a daily bedtime, like we do Monday through Friday to get up in the weekdays. Come up with a standardized routine activity time table like studying or completing school tasks, nutritious meals and snacks, and physical activity. Enable flexibility in the timetable; changing depending on the day is okay.

  • Lookout for ways to make learning fun

Have hands-on activities, such as puzzles, painting, drawing, and making things that require the child to be involved mentally and physically in the task. Active play can also be used, instead of formal instruction. Encourage children to create a sheet fort, or do counting by stacking bricks.

If you are at a higher risk of getting very sick due to Coronavirus disease 2019, especially if you are 65 years of age and older, the following guidelines should be put in place to avoid the infection.

  • Store supplies such as food , drugs, if need be
  • Take every day steps to protect you and others in space
  • Stay away from disabled people when you go out in public
  • Avoid close touch, and wash your hands always
  • Avoid queues, cruises or non-essential journeys
  • When there is an epidemic in your neighborhood, try to stay home as much as possible.
  • Check for symptoms of COVID-19, and emergency signs.
  • Stay home, and call the doctor if you are sick.

No, most disabled people are not at higher risk of becoming infected with or having severe COVID-19 disease unless they have other underlying medical conditions that will make them susceptible to the virus.

Cleaning & Disinfection

Cleaning with soap and water removes impurities of the germs, debris and soil and decreases the chance of transmitting infection. At the other hand, disinfection refers to the use of stronger detergents that kill germs at surfaces and this can further reduce the risk of infection transmission.

Business buildings, hospitals, and households will have comprehensive daily cleaning procedures in place to ensure a safe atmosphere. When these facilities are in use, surfaces that multiple users frequently touch, such as door handles, bathroom surfaces and handrails, should be washed with soap and water or other detergent at least daily. Depending on the degree of use, more regular cleaning and disinfection may be necessary. For example, prior to each usage all surfaces and items should be washed and disinfected in public spaces, such as shopping carts and point of sale keypads.

Only washing by itself is not an efficient way to fight coronavirus. Although cleaning helps remove germs and thus reduces the risk of transmitting infection, the risk of infection remains. When a surface may have acquired the virus from a person with or suspected of COVID-19, the surface should be immediately washed and disinfected.

COVID-19 Coronavirus & Animals

We do not know for sure which animals can be infected with the COVID-19 virus, or cannot. Nevertheless, the W.H.O and CDC have reported a small number of animals, including dogs, cats, lions and tigers, to be infected with the virus that triggers COVID-19, mostly after close contact with persons with COVID-19.

Furthermore, recent research has shown that ferrets, cats and golden Syrian hamsters may be infected with the virus experimentally and can transmit the infection in laboratory settings to other animals of the same settings.

Your pet’s health is not a concern right now, since there are just a few positive COVID-19 test cases in animals.

As of today, no scientific studies have been identified to support this claim of animal skins containing the COVID-19 virus. Practicing safe behavior for pets and other animals, though, is always nice, and also washing hands before and after encounters, as animals can also hold other germs that can make people sick.

Yes, you should walk your dog during this pandemic, because being healthy is vital for animals and humans. Hold it on a leash while walking your dog, and try to remain as far away as possible from anyone at least 6 feet (2 metres). Don’t encourage other people to pet your dog when you’re out for a walk, to help maintain social space.

If your pet is ill and you have reason to suspect it may have contracted COVID-19, you need to talk to your doctor about any health concerns you may have regarding your pet. However, you should not take your pet to the veterinary doctors but call them first to let them know that the pet was indeed a victim of COVID-19. Some veterinarians may offer telemedicine consultations, or other plans to see sick pets. Your veterinarian will examine your pet and decide next steps for your pet to be treated and taken care of.

It is the animals that are examined in very unusual cases. Systematic animal testing is not necessary at this time, so any animal testing is performed on a case-by – case basis. For example, if a COVID-19 patient’s pet has a new disease with similar symptoms to those of COVID-19, the animal’s veterinarian can consult with public health and animal health officials to decide whether testing is needed.

COVID-19 Coronavirus & Water

As per current research, the virus which causes COVID-19 has not been detected in drinking water. Conventional methods of filtration and disinfection treatment of water, such as those used in most municipal or national drinking water systems, are effective in destroying or inactivating the COVID-19 virus.

Several patients diagnosed with COVID-19 identified the Coronavirus in the faeces. However, it is unclear if the virus present in faeces can cause COVID-19, as no recorded case of the virus spreading from faeces to a human has been identified.

Coronavirus has been found in untreated wastewater. However, researchers aren’t sure whether this virus will cause disease if a person is exposed to untreated wastewater or sewerage systems. At this time, the possibility of transmission of the virus causing COVID-19 by properly built and maintained sewerage systems is considered very low.

ministry-health-democratic-republic-congo
Africa Centres for disease control & prevetion
World Health Organization
worldometers corona virus statistics
ministry-health-democratic-republic-congo
Africa Centres for disease control & prevetion
World Health Organization
worldometers corona virus statistics