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Republic of Congo begins life after lockdown

Republic of the Congo

<p><strong>Since May 18 the Congolese population has been gradually returning to money making activities after 48 days at a standstill.</strong></p> <p>The Republic of Congo government recently lifted a few lockdown measures initially put in place to fight the spread of the coronavirus.</p> <p>The resumption of public transport is great news for Pavel Samba who has been a taxi driver for the last 15 years. </p> <p>The easing of lockdown measures comes as a relief as he knows no other way to make a living.</p> <p>“This time was not easy. Its something you can never imagine can happen to you. It all happened so suddenly. I’m a tenant and I’m renting a house. Even during the lockdown, the landlord had sent me a message asking me to pay. I asked him to be patient and that I would come to regularise the amount once the lockdown was over” he says.</p> <p>Even the hairdressers who had to temporarily tuck away their combs and sheers, are back in business. </p> <p>Durbrin Lionel Nkouka, a local barber says the lockdown left him and his wife and kids with nothing and now he has to start from scratch. </p> <p>He desperately hopes the country never again reverts to lockdown for the sake of their livelihoods.</p> <p>Bars and restaurants, however, have not been authorised to reopen besides a few rare customers who can come to order take-out. </p> <p>Turnovers are on the decline but restaurant owners remain hopeful.</p> <p>“We’ve just been at home for two months and people are struggling. We are about 31 workers in Kojack, we only brought in two workers a week to make take-away food. And, the others stayed at home, it’s hard for them. We hope the Congolose government allows restaurant openings at the next level.” said Franck Matongo, co-owner of the Montagne Kojack restaurant.</p> <p>On March 31 the Republic of Congo began a total lockdown, including a nighttime curfew in order to deal with the coronavirus pandemic.</p>
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