DR Congo confines, disinfects business district to fight virus Apr 07, 2020 0 420 12345 AFPKinshasaKinshasa on Monday closed off its upmarket business district for two weeks and began large-scale disinfection in a bid to root out DR Congo’s main suspected source of coronavirus.Access to Gombe, which houses the country’s main institutions, banks and foreign embassies as well as upscale homes, was barricaded off to everyone except local residents and key workers, an AFP journalist saw.“The choice of this district is linked to the fact that it’s from Gombe that the virus is spreading little by little to other districts,” the health authorities said in a daily statement.“Massive disinfection of the offices and main buildings in Gombe district has been scheduled during this period. Once everything has been cleaned in Gombe, other areas will be targeted,” it said. On Thursday, Kinshasa Governor Gentiny Ngobila announced that Gombe, one of the capital’s 26 districts, would be “placed in quarantine” from April 6 to 20.The district “is considered to be the epicentre of the epidemic in the city,” he said.According to the Democratic Republic of Congo’s official figures, the sprawling country has recorded 161 cases of coronavirus, 18 of them fatal. Almost all have occurred in the capital, with a handful of other cases in the volatile east. The central business district, home to 100,000 to 200,000 of Kinshasa’s 10 million people, has been dubbed “the Republic of Gombe” for its perceived status as an island of prosperity, a place set side from a city where poverty and dysfunction are rife. People waited patiently to get through the barricades, clutching passes issued by city hall.“I waited more than two hours, but I’m not complaining, because this disease is very deadly,” said Jerome Lumosi, 35, who works at the National Institute of Biomedical Research -- the DRC’s scientific vanguard in the fight against coronavirus. Pages 12 RELATED ARTICLES Iran says virus infections show ‘gradual’ decline Apr 07, 2020 0 1322 Syria, allies likely targeted civilian sites in rebel stronghold: UN Apr 07, 2020 0 375 Mosque converted into mask factory in virus-hit Iran Apr 07, 2020 0 169 Rockets land near US oil company Halliburton in Iraq’s Basra Basra: Rockets landed on Monday near the US oil field service company Halliburton in Iraq’s southern city of Basra, causing no casualties or damage, the Iraqi military said. The military said security forces were .. Rights groups condemn deadly attack on Yemen jail AFP Dubai Two international rights groups on Monday condemned an attack on a prison in Yemen’s besieged city of Taez that left six women and a child dead. The internationally-recognised government has accused .. Erdogan says two pandemic hospitals to be built in Istanbul AFP Istanbul Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Monday two hospitals each with a 1,000 bed capacity, will be built in Istanbul -- the epicentre of coronavirus cases in the country -- to treat infected .. WHO slams ‘racist’ calls for Africa to be vaccine testing ground Geneva: The World Health Organization chief angrily slammed recent comments made by scientists suggesting a vaccine for the new coronavirus should be tested in Africa as “racist” and a hangover from the “colonial .. Zimbabwe police accused of media assault amid lockdown AFP Harare An African media watchdog charged Monday that Zimbabwean police had assaulted a journalist and forced him to delete pictures of them enforcing a COVID-19 lockdown. Freelance journalist Panashe Makufa “was .. Syrian refugee in Lebanon sets himself alight amid economic crisis Beirut: A Syrian man set himself on fire in eastern Lebanon over the weekend, apparently in protest at the lack of work available as a consequence of measures introduced to quell the spread of the new coronavirus. .. Security forces teargas Sudanese ignoring COVID-19 mass assembly ban Khartoum: Hundreds of Sudanese celebrating the country’s first anniversary of the ouster of long-term ruler Omar al-Bashir in the streets of the capital Khartoum were Monday teargassed by security forces as part of .. Northern Mali attack leaves 20 soldiers dead AFP Bamako Around 20 Malian soldiers were killed on Monday in an apparent jihadist attack, officials said, in the latest bout of violence to hit the war-torn West African state. Early Monday morning, militants attacked a ..