Veteran of Ebola response says education, discipline needed to fight coronavirus in Africa


With more than 3,000 cases of the coronavirus across Africa, there is growing concern about the continent's ability to keep the epidemic under control and protect its population. We bring you an exclusive interview from the Democratic Republic of Congo with one of Africa's leading virologists, Professor Jean-Jacques Muyembe, who's now in charge of his country's response to COVID-19. He urges people to take the disease seriously and to practise social distancing.


Our correspondent in DR Congo, Clément Bonnerot, has an exclusive interview with a leading virologist, Professor Jean-Jacques Muyembe. Professor Muyembe was part of the team that first discovered Ebola back in the 1970s.

"The most important thing for us is to prevent the spread of this disease (COVID-19) in Africa because we do not have the required infrastructure to be able to treat the sick," Professor Muyembe told FRANCE 24.

"The number one priority is to avoid overcrowding in the public space," he added. "We must educate people and teach them to keep their distance from each other."

Asked what message he had for African people and the Congolese in particular, he said: "The population must be fully informed and there must be no doubt about the existence of this disease. COVID-19 is real. We must stand together and protect ourselves to protect others and bring this epidemic under control. Without discipline there will be anarchy, and then there will be carnage."

Staying with the coronavirus pandemic, we also look at how South Africa's small businesses have prepared for an impending three-week lockdown. The country now has more than 900 confirmed cases of the disease.

Click on the player to watch the full programme produced by Tommaso Mazzanti 

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