2020 coronavirus pandemic in the Democratic Republic of the Congo
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|2020 coronavirus pandemic in the Democratic Republic of the Congo|
|Location||Democratic Republic of the Congo|
|First outbreak||Wuhan, Hubei, China|
|Arrival date||10 March 2020|
(4 weeks and 1 day)
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.
On 10 March, the first case was reported in the country. 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". 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.
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.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.
Schools, bars, restaurants, and places of worship were closed. On 19 March, President Félix Tshisekedi announced flight suspensions. On 24 March, he imposed a state of emergency and closed their borders.
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