DR Congo prison records 100 coronavirus cases

Theodora Aidoo May 5, 2020 at 09:00am

May 05, 2020 at 09:00 am | News

Theodora Aidoo

Theodora Aidoo | Staff Writer

May 05, 2020 at 09:00 am | News

Makala prison - Pic Credit: ECPM 2019 © Adèle Martignon

One hundred inmates have tested positive for coronavirus in the Democratic Republic of Congo’s military prison, according to the health ministry. Authorities say cases of coronavirus in a military prison in Kinshasa doubled to nearly 100 in two days.

According to the government’s latest epidemiological bulletin, an additional 56 people in Ndolo military prison were confirmed with COVID-19 on Saturday. Meanwhile, 43 cases had been diagnosed at the prison on Thursday and Friday.

Built during Belgian colonial rule for 500 inmates, the jail which is located in the north of the DRC’s capital now houses between 1,900 and 2,000 inmates, according to reports.

Last month, the Human Rights Watch warned that “the overcrowded and insalubrious prisons in the DRC present a serious risk” for COVID-19 spread. However, the Congolese authorities say that there is no case yet at Makala, the largest prison in Kinshasa, which houses at least 8,400 detainees.

So far, seven of the DRC’s 26 provinces have recorded cases of COVID-19, but the majority of infections (652) accounting for all the fatalities have occurred in Kinshasa, a city of 12 million people.

The first case of the coronavirus infection in the central African country was registered on March 10 and since then, 682 cases have been confirmed, resulting in 34 deaths, according to the bulletin published on Monday by a health ministry team tackling the pandemic.

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