Journal of Health and Medical Research

Coronavirus Situations In DRC

The health situation in the DRC is critical in every respect. Existing medical infrastructures have long been in a state of advanced decay and the current crisis only serves to reveal to the population the extent of the health disaster that lies ahead, primarily because of this infrastructural deficiency. Indeed, the DRC has less than 100 respirators for a population of more than 80 million.If we stick to the official figures, however, the situation appears to be under control. As of April 20, 332 confirmed cases and 25 deaths were reported (already the highest case-fatality rate of the virus in sub-Saharan Africa).This continent-like country of more than 2.3 million km2 only possesses a single test-processing centre, the laboratory of the National Institute of Biomedical Research (INRB) in Kinshasa.For a long time, this laboratory has only been able to analyze 50 tests per day, even if the 100-test threshold was nearly reached on Thursday, April 9, which saw 98 tests performed (revealing 8 new case confirmations).Total lockdown seems virtually impossible in a country where more than 70% of the population subsists from day to day and relies on its ability to generate a daily income in order to survive.The barrier gestures are barely followed by the population, which is not entirely convinced of the existence of the pandemic, nor .of its virulent nature, and which seems for the most part intent on continuing to live as if nothing was happening. At this stage, and faced with this situation, we remain unable to grasp the true extent of the Covid-19 contamination in the DRC, as the sample of people already tested is insufficiently representative. Moreover, it is difficult to quantify the scale of what lies ahead in the coming weeks. All the more so considering that, while the strategies adopted in Europe were mainly aimed at flattening the curve so as not to overwhelm the healthcare system, in DRC, the healthcare system is inherently already saturated.  
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