COVID-19 pandemic in the Democratic Republic of the Congo

The COVID-19 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]

COVID-19 pandemic in the Democratic Republic of the Congo
COVID-19 Pandémie coronavirus en RDC par Province (Densité).svg
Number of cases by Province.
  ≥ 10 000
  1 000 à 9 999
  500 à 999
  100 à 499
  10 à 99
  1 à 9
Virus strainSARS-CoV-2
LocationDemocratic Republic of the Congo
First outbreakWuhan, Hubei, China
Index caseKinshasa
Arrival date10 March 2020
(2 months, 2 weeks and 3 days)
Confirmed cases2,141 (as of 24 May)[1]
Active cases1,761 (as of 24 May)
Recovered317 (as of 24 May)
32 (as of 24 May)
The MONUSCO Force Intervention Brigade has taken measures to boost hygiene to help slow the spread of the virus.


The Democratic Republic of the Congo is one of the poorest countries in the world, and access to health care is limited. The DRC has been battling the Kivu Ebola epidemic since 2018, and this epidemic was still ongoing when the COVID-19 crisis began.[3]

On 10 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.[4][5]


On 10 March, the first case was reported in the country.[6] 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".[7][8] 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.[9]

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[when?] in a hospital in Kinshasa.[10][11] After five more confirmed cases, the first death in the country was reported, following announcements that Angola will be closing the border with the DRC.[12]

Prevention measuresEdit

Schools, bars, restaurants, and places of worship were closed. On 19 March, President Félix Tshisekedi announced flight suspensions.[13] On 24 March, he imposed a state of emergency and closed the borders.[14]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "DR Congo Coronavirus". Retrieved 24 May 2020.
  2. ^ "DRC health minister announces fourth case of coronavirus in". Daily Monitor. Retrieved 22 March 2020.
  3. ^ "Congo records five new Ebola cases, shelves declaration of end to epidemic". Reuters. 17 April 2020. Retrieved 17 April 2020.
  4. ^ Elsevier. "Novel Coronavirus Information Center". Elsevier Connect. Archived from the original on 30 January 2020. Retrieved 15 March 2020.
  5. ^ 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.
  6. ^ Health, P. M. N. (10 March 2020). "Democratic Republic of Congo confirms first coronavirus case | National Post". Retrieved 10 March 2020.
  7. ^ "DR Congo confirms first coronavirus case". Retrieved 12 March 2020.
  8. ^ "Coronavirus yageze muri DR Congo". BBC News Gahuza (in Kinyarwanda). 10 March 2020. Retrieved 12 March 2020.
  9. ^ "Congo health authorities stumble with first coronavirus case confusion". Reuters. 14 March 2020. Retrieved 16 March 2020.
  10. ^ "DR Congo confirms 2nd case of COVID-19". Retrieved 14 March 2020.
  11. ^ "DR Congo reports second case of coronavirus in Kinshasa". The New Times | Rwanda. 13 March 2020. Retrieved 14 March 2020.
  12. ^ "Coronavirus: la RDC passe à 23 cas dont un premier décès (Dr. Eteni Longondo)". (in French). 21 March 2020. Retrieved 21 March 2020.
  13. ^ "Democratic Republic of Congo sees 1st coronavirus death". Retrieved 22 March 2020.
  14. ^ Bonnerot, Clément (25 March 2020). "DR Congo president imposes state of emergency to contain coronavirus outbreak". France 24. Retrieved 25 March 2020.

External linksEdit