2020 coronavirus pandemic in the Democratic Republic of the Congo

The 2019–20 coronavirus pandemic was confirmed to have reached the Democratic Republic of the Congo on 10 March 2020. The first few confirmed cases were all outside arrivals.[2]

2020 coronavirus pandemic in the Democratic Republic of the Congo
COVID-19 Pandémie coronavirus en RDC par Province (Densité).svg
Virus strainSARS-CoV-2
LocationDemocratic Republic of the Congo
First outbreakWuhan, Hubei, China
Index caseKinshasa
Arrival date10 March 2020
(4 weeks and 1 day)
Confirmed cases180[1]
The MONUSCO Force Intervention Brigade has taken measures to boost hygiene to help slow the spread of the virus.


On 12 January 2020, the World Health Organization (WHO) confirmed that a novel coronavirus was the cause of a respiratory illness in a cluster of people in Wuhan City, Hubei Province, China, which was reported to the WHO on 31 December 2019.[3][4]

The case fatality ratio for COVID-19 has been much lower than SARS of 2003,[5][6] but the transmission has been significantly greater, with a significant total death toll.[7][5]


On 10 March, the first case was reported in the country.[8] The case was initially reported to be a Belgian national who visited the country and was later quarantined in a hospital in Kinshasa. The Health Minister of the DRC, Eteni Longondo, said that the situation is "under control" and that "there is no need to panic".[9][10] The nationality and travel history of the first case turned out to be incorrect. The case was actually a Congolese citizen who had returned from France and contacted health services. The failure to report accurate details on the first case sparked a rebuke from President Félix Tshisekedi who stated in a cabinet meeting that the health ministry had acted in an "appalling and mediocre" way.[11]

The second case was confirmed to be a Cameroonian national in the country, who returned from France on 8 March. Initially asymptomatic, he later developed symptoms and is now in a hospital in Kinshasa.[12][13]After 5 more confirmed cases, the first death in the country was reported, following announcements that Angola will be closing the border with the DRC.[14]

Prevention measuresEdit

Schools, bars, restaurants, and places of worship were closed. On 19 March, President Félix Tshisekedi announced flight suspensions.[15] On 24 March, he imposed a state of emergency and closed their borders.[16]


  1. ^ "ANICiiS". www.facebook.com. Retrieved 7 April 2020.
  2. ^ "DRC health minister announces fourth case of coronavirus in". Daily Monitor. Retrieved 22 March 2020.
  3. ^ Elsevier. "Novel Coronavirus Information Center". Elsevier Connect. Archived from the original on 30 January 2020. Retrieved 15 March 2020.
  4. ^ Reynolds, Matt (4 March 2020). "What is coronavirus and how close is it to becoming a pandemic?". Wired UK. ISSN 1357-0978. Archived from the original on 5 March 2020. Retrieved 5 March 2020.
  5. ^ a b "Crunching the numbers for coronavirus". Imperial News. Archived from the original on 19 March 2020. Retrieved 15 March 2020.
  6. ^ "High consequence infectious diseases (HCID); Guidance and information about high consequence infectious diseases and their management in England". GOV.UK. Archived from the original on 3 March 2020. Retrieved 17 March 2020.
  7. ^ "World Federation Of Societies of Anaesthesiologists – Coronavirus". www.wfsahq.org. Archived from the original on 12 March 2020. Retrieved 15 March 2020.
  8. ^ Health, P. M. N. (10 March 2020). "Democratic Republic of Congo confirms first coronavirus case | National Post". Retrieved 10 March 2020.
  9. ^ "DR Congo confirms first coronavirus case". www.aa.com.tr. Retrieved 12 March 2020.
  10. ^ "Coronavirus yageze muri DR Congo". BBC News Gahuza (in Kinyarwanda). 10 March 2020. Retrieved 12 March 2020.
  11. ^ "Congo health authorities stumble with first coronavirus case confusion". Reuters. 14 March 2020. Retrieved 16 March 2020.
  12. ^ "DR Congo confirms 2nd case of COVID-19". www.aa.com.tr. Retrieved 14 March 2020.
  13. ^ "DR Congo reports second case of coronavirus in Kinshasa". The New Times | Rwanda. 13 March 2020. Retrieved 14 March 2020.
  14. ^ "Coronavirus: la RDC passe à 23 cas dont un premier décès (Dr. Eteni Longondo)". Actualite.cd (in French). 21 March 2020. Retrieved 21 March 2020.
  15. ^ "Democratic Republic of Congo sees 1st coronavirus death". www.aa.com.tr. Retrieved 22 March 2020.
  16. ^ Bonnerot, Clément (25 March 2020). "DR Congo president imposes state of emergency to contain coronavirus outbreak". France 24. Retrieved 25 March 2020.