Congo faces third wave of coronavirus, health minister says
The Democratic Republic of the Congo is facing a third wave of coronavirus infections, with its epicenter in the capital, Kinshasa, one of the most populous cities in Africa, Health Minister Jean-Jacques Mbungani said on Thursday. .
Like many other African countries, the Congo has officially reported relatively few cases and deaths, but health officials are concerned about a recent spike in infections that saw 243 new cases recorded on Wednesday, the highest daily figure. since March.
“I officially announce the start of the third wave of the COVID-10 pandemic in our country, with Kinshasa as the epicenter,” Mbungani told reporters.
A low vaccination rate and haphazard adherence to recommended hygiene practices are among the reasons for the increased rate of infection, he said.
On Wednesday, the World Health Organization expressed concern over the spread in Kinshasa of the Delta variant first identified in India, which is believed to be more transmissible.
The week ended May 30 saw an exponential increase in the rate of infections in Kinshasa, according to the WHO.
Congo’s vaccination campaign stuttered after delaying deployment due to safety concerns over the AstraZeneca (AZN.L) firing. As a result, about 75% of the 1.7 million doses received in March were reallocated the following month to ensure they were used before they expired.
In total, Congo has reported more than 31,900 infections and 786 coronavirus-related deaths since the start of the pandemic.
Among the victims were 32 MPs, about 5% of the total killed by the virus, authorities said last week. Read more
Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.