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DR Congo closes off Gombe, Kinshasa's 'coronavirus epicenter'

Democratic Republic Of Congo

The Democratic Republic of Congo’s capital on Monday Kinshasa closed off its upmarket business district known as ‘Gombe’ for two weeks.

The country also began large-scale disinfection in a bid to root out DR Congo’s main suspected source of coronavirus.

Joshua Kashala, medical epidemiologist of hygiene at the borders told the media: “Here we are in the process of controlling the movement of people, as you have learned that Gombe must be surrounded, which is precisely the first objective in tracking down contacts.”

According to official figures released recently, there are over 150 confirmed cases, 11 deaths, in the nation of some 80 million people.

Elie Mbavu, a worker with Congo Airways said of the move: “I’m on the list of those who must enter the city, I have the card of course and the mission order but they don’t know how to get me through.”

“I have the permit and I am from the medical profession, I have my authorisation papers and I have to relieve the other (doctor) who was on duty,” a medic seeking entry into Gombe said highlighting the headaches of the process for people who have valid passes.

Kinshasa, which has been isolated from the rest of the country, has 118 cases but this is likely to be just the tip of the iceberg giving the paucity of testing.

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