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DRC reopens airspace after 5 months closure

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Democratic Republic of Congo

The Democratic Republic of Congo has reopened its airspace after been closed for nearly five months due to Coronavirus pandemic. It received its first commercial paasenger flight on saturday.

Border health officials were seen taking the temperature of each passenger after a mandatory hand washing with chlorinated water.

"It takes a little longer, but that's the price to pay for a trip without risk of contamination," reacted Aristotle Kabengele, who was on his way to Paris via the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa. More than 200 passengers boarded an Ethiopian Airlines plane bound for Addis Ababa.

On the runway, freshly drawn markings on the ground separated travellers by a metre before the first commercial flight from Ndjili airport in Kinshasa took off.

The DRC has so far recorded 9,638 Covid-19 cases and 239 deaths since the first cases were declared on 10 March, according to the latest official figures.