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DR Congo extends virus health emergecy for sixth time

The Democratic Republic of Congo extended its coronavirus health emergency on Monday for 15 days, the sixth extension since March, with some lawmakers voicing concern about the effect on the economy.

DR Congo extends virus health emergecy for sixth time
People wearing face masks attend the inauguration of the "Rue Patrice Lumumba" street in Charleroi, on July 2, 2020, in honour of the first Prime Minister of the independent Congo after its independence from Belgium, sixty years ago. AFP
President Felix Tshisekedi's government closed the borders, halted flights between the capital Kinshasa and the rest of the country and closed schools and places of worship in March.

Officials lifted the ban on internal flights last week, but all other measures remain in place in a country that has recorded 182 deaths from 7,432 infections. 

Critics in the National Assembly said the measures risked "suffocating" the economy, Assembly President Jeanine Mabunda calling for an "exit plan" from the emergency status saying the deputies did not want to vote for an "endless extension". 

The government's handling of the crisis has been widely criticised. 

Health workers in Kinshasa—the epicentre of infections in the country—launched an "unlimited strike" on Monday, saying they had not been paid in three months.

Topics: Democratic Republic of Congo , coronavirus pandemic , health emergency
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