Escalating violence is making the threat of COVID-19 even more worrying in the DRC, home to the largest internally displaced population in Africa and half a million refugees, according to the UN Refugee Agency.
New waves of violence in recent weeks have displaced tens of thousands of people and are sure to hamper humanitarian responses and access to health centers as COVID-19 spreads across the country. 287 cases and 23 deaths are now confirmed.
UNHCR partners withdrew staff from displacement sites in March amid security concerns though the agency is helping with temperature screening, hand washing stations, and awareness-raising activities.
Ebola also remains a concern. Days before the DRC was due to declare the end of the outbreak, new cases emerged and one patient escaped a treatment center,Reuters reports.