DRC coronavirus center attacked by angry crowd over death of youth

A coronavirus treatment and quarantine centre was ransacked Tuesday in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) when a riot erupted over the killing of a young man, authorities said.

The authorities in South Kivu said unidentified gunmen had shot and killed the young man on Monday, adding that according to rumours to he was killed by police who were enforcing a virus curfew declared by Governor Theo Ngwabidje Kasi.

The governor promised “his personal involvement so that the investigations repair the harm caused” to the victim’s relatives, the authorities said in a statement. “When the death was announced, some young people protested and attacked the Bwindi treatment centre,” the statement said.

Photographs verified as authentic by AFP showed broken windows as well as piles of stones on a balcony and in a bedroom.

“The care staff and the people interned at this centre are safe and sound,” the statement said.

The Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) has declared 4,974 infections, including 4,480 in the capital Kinshasa and 108 in South Kivu.

There are around 100 deaths. Doctor Denis Mukwege proposed the opening of the centre in Bukavu while he was part of the coronavirus response effort in South Kivu province.

The 2018 Nobel Peace Prize laureate resigned last week as head of a coronavirus taskforce in the eastern province, blaming organisational problems, outpaced strategy and slow testing. ‘

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