A Belgian citizen has tested positive for Coronavirus in DR Congo.
The patient, according to health authorities had been in DR Congo some days.
Health Minister, Eteni Longondo said on Tuesday [March 10, 2020] that the patient has since been isolated at a Kinshasa hospital.
“I would like to announce to the Congolese population that we diagnosed on Tuesday morning the first case of coronavirus. It has been discovered in a Belgian national who has come to stay here for a few days,” Longondo said.
“It has been a few minutes since we received the information from the INRB. The Belgian subject arrived two days ago. We followed him. It is put in isolation. We are looking for the people who were in contact with him, ”said the Ministry of Health.
He urged the public not to panic as the situation is under control.
He further advised citizens to observe various preventive practices.
“It is sad to hear that just as the DRC appears to be near ending its worst Ebola outbreak, a new virus is threatening the health of its citizens,” said Dr Matshidiso Moeti, World Health Organization (WHO) Regional Director for Africa. “However, some of the readiness efforts put in place during the Ebola outbreak may help the country respond to COVID-19. WHO is here to support you, just as we continue to do in the Ebola response.”
DR Congo health emergencies
DR Congo has been battling a number of outbreaks and health emergencies in recent times.
The Africa Regional office of the World Health Organization in the 8th March 2020 edition of its weekly health emergencies found that DR Congo was still battling humanitarian crisis, Cholera, Measles, Polio, Monkeypox and Ebola.
There have been 3,444 recorded cases of Ebola with 2,264 deaths while Measles has killed 358 out of 26,574 people affected.
With the confirmed case in DR Congo as at Tuesday March 10, 2020, a total of 106 cases have been recorded in Africa.
The majority of the cases are in Egypt where 59 persons have been found to be with the virus and one person dying as a result.
In Algeria, 20 persons have caught the virus while in South Africa, seven have been recorded.
Tunisia has five cases while Senegal has four cases.
Official figures indicate that there are three persons affected in Morroco, with one dying as a result.
There are two cases each in Cameroon and Nigeria.
In neighbouring Togo, one case has been reported.