Angola Strengthens Border Surveillance with DRC at Zaire Province

  • They can quickly spread to the cities of Boma and Muanda, which are seven minutes away from the municipality of Soyo, by the river.
  • The director of the Provincial Health Office, Joao Miguel Paulo, stressed that Zaire Province still does not have the conditions to carry out COVID-19 tests.
  • The director of the Provincial Health Office reported that an oxygen factory at the Provincial Hospital of Zaire has been damaged since August last year.

The governor of Zaire Province, in Angola, guided the strengthening of border surveillance since Thursday due to the emergence of two positive cases of COVID-19 in the region of Matadi, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). The two positive cases recorded in the Congolese region of Matadi come from Kinshasa, the capital of the DRC.

Zaire is one of the 18 provinces of Angola. It occupies 40,130 square kilometres (15,490 sq mi) in the north west of the country and has a population of about 600,000 inhabitants. It is bordered on the west by the Atlantic Ocean, on the north by the Democratic Republic of Congo, on the east by the Uíge Province, and on the south by the Bengo Province.

They can quickly spread to the cities of Boma and Muanda, which are seven minutes away from the municipality of Soyo, by the river, said Pedro Makita, who was speaking during the review meeting of the activities carried out from March to April by the COVID-19 Provincial Multisectoral Pandemic Response Commission. He said that the municipalities of Noqui, Cuimba, Mbanza Kongo and Soyo, with the support of National Police, must take measures to stop the violation of the country’s borders.

“Our border with the DRC is vast and complex, so we must reinforce vigilance to reduce the trend of illegal immigrants, especially in this period, when we intend to prevent the transmission of the new coronavirus pandemic,” he said. The governor of Zaire Province stressed that it is important to continue to inform communities about the danger of COVID-19, and warned that the fact that social isolation measures have been alleviated, one should not let his guard down, maintaining vigilance to avoid the violation borders.

The director of the Provincial Health Office, Joao Miguel Paulo, stressed that Zaire Province still does not have the conditions to carry out COVID-19 tests. “If suspicious cases arise, we took the samples and sent them to the reference laboratory in Luanda,” he explained. At this point, he said, the Province of Zaire has six people in quarantine, one national citizen being compulsorily placed in institutional quarantine, for having recently returned from the DRC.

Angola–Democratic Republic of the Congo relations refers to the current relationship between Angola and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Historically, Angola has been closely involved in Congolese politics.

“On Wednesday, April 29, a national citizen, who was on vacation in the DRC, violated the Mbanza Kongo border and was on the run. After searching and being arrested, he was placed in an institutional quarantine,” he said.

Oxygen Factory Paralyzed

The director of the Provincial Health Office reported that an oxygen factory at the Provincial Hospital of Zaire, with a capacity of 20 bottles of gas per day, has been damaged since August last year.

“The factory had a crankshaft problem since the beginning of the second half of 2019. Large sums are needed for the repair. The hospital already spends a lot of money on the purchase of oxygen, so there is a lack of financial availability to purchase the replacement material.”

João Miguel Paulo recalled that, previously, several technicians were called to repair the successive failures of the referred factory, but without success. For this reason, he urged entrepreneurs to support the repair of the factory, especially in this pandemic period. In Soyo, he said, there was an oxygen factory that could be the alternative, but it produces only two bottles per day, an insufficient quantity to supply the six municipalities in the province.

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George Mtimba

George clarifies how the news is changing the world, how world news trends affect you. Also, George is a professional journalist, a freelance news reporter and writer who is passionate with current world news.

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