In a televised address, President Félix Tshisekedi of the Democratic Republic of the Congo announced that the national COVID-19 state of health emergency will be lifted starting July 22. It was declared on March 24 and extended six times Most daily activities are set to resume immediately; educational facilities will open on August 3; and borders, houses of worship, and other public venues will open on August 15.
Reported new daily cases remained below 100 for a week
The lifting of restrictions comes as the DRC reported that new daily cases remainted below 100 for a full week, with new daily deaths numbering just one or two over the same period. It also arrives one month after the World Health Organization announced that the Ebola outbreak in the country’s east, the second deadliest in world history, was officially over.
As the country contends with a massive and ongoing measles outbreak, severe flooding, and continued violence in North and South Kivu provinces, the lifting of the state of emergency can be regarded as a small victory for the beleaguered Congolese people. President Tshisekedi acknowledged, however, that the end of the state of emergency did not mean the end of COVID-19. He emphasized the need to adhere to safety measures to prevent infection.