2020 coronavirus pandemic in the Democratic Republic of the Congo

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2020 coronavirus pandemic in the Democratic Republic of the Congo
Virus strainSARS-CoV-2
LocationDemocratic Republic of the Congo
First outbreakWuhan, Hubei, China
Index caseKinshasa
Arrival date10 March 2020
(3 weeks and 2 days)
Confirmed cases123

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.[1]


Schools, bars, restaurants, and places of worship were closed. On 19 March, President Félix Tshisekedi announced flight suspensions.[2] On 24 March he imposed a state of emergency and closed their borders.[3]


On 10 March, the first case was reported in the country.[4] 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".[5][6] 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.[7]

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.[8][9]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.[10]


  1. ^ "DRC health minister announces fourth case of coronavirus in". Daily Monitor. Retrieved 22 March 2020.
  2. ^ "Democratic Republic of Congo sees 1st coronavirus death". Retrieved 22 March 2020.
  3. ^ Bonnerot, Clément (25 March 2020). "DR Congo president imposes state of emergency to contain coronavirus outbreak". France 24. Retrieved 25 March 2020.
  4. ^ Health, P. M. N. (10 March 2020). "Democratic Republic of Congo confirms first coronavirus case | National Post". Retrieved 10 March 2020.
  5. ^ "DR Congo confirms first coronavirus case". Retrieved 12 March 2020.
  6. ^ "Coronavirus yageze muri DR Congo". BBC News Gahuza (in Kinyarwanda). 10 March 2020. Retrieved 12 March 2020.
  7. ^ "Congo health authorities stumble with first coronavirus case confusion". Reuters. 14 March 2020. Retrieved 16 March 2020.
  8. ^ "DR Congo confirms 2nd case of COVID-19". Retrieved 14 March 2020.
  9. ^ "DR Congo reports second case of coronavirus in Kinshasa". The New Times | Rwanda. 13 March 2020. Retrieved 14 March 2020.
  10. ^ "Coronavirus: la RDC passe à 23 cas dont un premier décès (Dr. Eteni Longondo)". (in French). 21 March 2020. Retrieved 21 March 2020.

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