Hospitals in Kinshasa are struggling to treat rising coronavirus cases because of a lack of oxygen supplies, health officials in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DR Congo) said Saturday.

“The number of cases is rising and the cases are more and more serious,” said epidemiologist Jean-Jacques Muyembe, head of the team leading the country’s response to the pandemic.

“The big problem for hospitals, it’s the lack of oxygen,” he added. The work of the factory in Kinshasa producing oxygen was being hampered by the capital’s frequent power cuts, he said.

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The country has so far recorded just over 13,400 cases of coronavirus, more than 10,000 of them in Kinshasa.

Since the first death recorded from the virus on March 10, the DR Congo’s toll has risen to 342,  and the number of cases being recorded daily has been rising in recent weeks.


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