Kinshasa, 08 April, 2020 / 9:28 am (ACI Africa).
As countries put in place measures to contain the spread of COVID-19, a Cardinal in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) has cautioned that the spread of the pandemic in the Central African nation would be disastrous, as the country does not have the capability of handling another outbreak, soon after struggling over the years to fight Ebola epidemic.
“We are terrified of the possible spread of COVID-19 here in Congo; we have no means or logistical solutions to deal with it and it would be a disaster," the Archbishop of Kinshasa, Fridolin Cardinal Ambongo Besungu told Agenzia Fides in an interview.
He added in the April 6 interview, “There is great fear because the number of infected people rises day by day. My diocese is the most affected, most of the cases are concentrated in the capital where 12 million people live, but we fear that it will spread to other areas of the Country as well.”
Following DRC’s fight against the world's second largest Ebola epidemic on record that broke out in the country on August 1, 2018 and killed more than 2,200 people, the country’s healthcare system is yet to recover. COVID-19 hit the country a week after the last Ebola patient was discharged.
Last week, the government of DRC put Gombe suburb in the capital Kinshasa, believed to be the epicenter of the pandemic, under a two-week lockdown starting Monday, April 6, as a means to control the spread of the virus that has claimed 18 lives in the country.