Congo caps public gatherings as third COVID-19 wave builds

PUBLISHED: Tue, 15 Jun 2021 12:17:01 GMT

KINSHASA, June 15 (Reuters) – The Democratic Republic of Congo will limit public gatherings to 20 people and close nightclubs as the country grapples with a third wave of COVID-19, President Felix Tshisekedi said on Tuesday.

Congo has officially registered relatively few cases, but low vaccination rates have left the country vulnerable to more contagious strains, including the highly-infectious Delta variant.

“For several weeks we have seen a persistent rise in the number of people infected,” Tshisekedi said in a televised address. “We need to react with speed, and above all, methodically.”

Last week, Tshisekedi told reporters that hospitals in the capital Kinshasa had been “overwhelmed” by the rising infections.

Congo has registered more than 35,000 infections and 834 deaths, according to figures from the Africa Centre for Disease Control. The World Health Organization said on June 2 that COVID-19 cases in Congo were rising exponentially.

(Reporting by Stanis Bujakera; Writing by Cooper Inveen; Editing by Nick Zieminski)

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