A passenger bus transporting people from a French community in Muanda (Kongo Central) was attacked in Kinshasa on Thursday, April 2, by locals claiming those on-board brought the coronavirus (COVID-19) disease to the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). The incident occurred on the Boulevard Lumumba, with stones hurled at the bus and causing damage to the vehicle. No injuries were reported in the incident. Reports suggest the passengers were being transported to the airport in order to board a repatriation flight. Further attacks targeting foreign nationals are possible in Kinshasa over the coming days and weeks.
The DRC has 123 confirmed cases of COVID-19, and 11 confirmed fatalities.
The first case of COVID-19 was reported on December 31 and the source of the outbreak has been linked to a wet market in Wuhan (Hubei province, China). Human-to-human and patient-to-medical staff transmission of the virus have been confirmed. Many of the associated fatalities have been due to pneumonia caused by the virus.
Cases of the virus have been confirmed in numerous countries and territories worldwide. Virus-screening and quarantining measures are being implemented at airports worldwide, as well as extensive travel restrictions. On March 11, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the global outbreak a pandemic.
Individuals in Kinshasa are advised to monitor developments to the situation, exercise caution and maintain a low profile at all times, avoid all protests and demonstrations as a precaution, and obey any instructions issued by the local authorities.