KINSHASA, March 19 (Xinhua) -- The Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) has unveiled several prevention and control measures to stem the spread of COVID-19.
Apart from strengthening border security, the government has announced a suspension of flights from all high-risk countries, which will take place this Friday.
Cargo planes, ships and other means of freight transport will be authorized to enter the DRC territory, with personnel on board going through examination.
President Felix Tshisekedi has also ordered the closure of schools, universities, official and private higher institutes. Suspension of all gatherings is also imposed for the next four weeks starting Thursday.
"I call on the government to take all measures to preserve our already fragile economy, in particular to prevent the shortage of stocks on the market," said Tshisekedi, urging the Congolese to keep a cool head in the face of the epidemic and follow the instructions of scientific personnel.
The DRC has registered a total of 14 cases in about a week since its first case of COVID-19 was reported on March 10.
Summoned by members of parliament on Tuesday, Jean-Jacques Muyembe, coordinator of the Ebola response and head of the main biomedical laboratory of the DRC, expressed concerns about the DRC's capacity to fight COVID-19.
On Wednesday, the Congolese health ministry received medical equipment kits out of the 66 tons of medical equipment offered by China to the DRC to fight the virus.