image of Responding to the Challenge of the Dual COVID-19 and Ebola Epidemics in the Democratic Republic of Congo—Priorities for Achieving Control
  • ISSN: 0002-9637
  • E-ISSN: 1476-1645


As of June 11, 2020, the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) has reported 4,258 COVID-19 cases with 90 deaths. With other African countries, the DRC faces the challenge of striking a balance between easing public health lockdown measures to curtail the spread of SARS-CoV-2 and minimizing both economic hardships for large sectors of the population and negative impacts on health services for other infectious and noninfectious diseases. The DRC recently controlled its tenth Ebola virus disease (EVD) outbreak, but COVID-19 and a new EVD outbreak beginning on June 1, 2020 in the northwest Équateur Province have added an additional burden to health services. Although the epidemiology and transmission of EVD and COVID-19 differ, leveraging the public health infrastructures and experiences from coordinating the EVD response to guide the public health response to COVID-19 is critical. Building on the DRC’s 40 years of experience with 10 previous EVD outbreaks, we highlight the DRC’s multi-sectoral public health approach to COVID-19, which includes community-based screening, testing, contact-tracing, risk communication, community engagement, and case management. We also highlight remaining challenges and discuss the way forward for achieving control of both COVID-19 and EVD in the DRC.

[open-access] This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC-BY) License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.


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  • Received : 10 Jun 2020
  • Accepted : 15 Jun 2020
  • Published online : 19 Jun 2020
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