KINSHASA, 19 December 2020 – The Democratic Republic of Congo (DR Congo) enforced its first dusk to dawn COVID-19-imposed curfew Friday night as infection rates rose in the country.

Grand Boulevard Kinshasa – Photo The New Times

The curfew shutdown all nighttime activities from 9pm until 5am.

DR Congo’s police chief, General Sylvano Kasongo, told reporters Friday night that they were taking it easy and giving a chance to the population to get used to the curfew.

“We are showing some tolerance and letting citizens off the hook with a warning or gentle reminder for the first few days of the curfew,” General Kasongo told reporters.

Some Congolese who work in Kinshasa’s nighttime businesses complained against enforcement of the curfew, pointing out that their families will die from hunger without some form of stimulus payment from the government.

Activists Combat COVID-19 (Photo by SAMIR TOUNSI / AFP) (Photo by SAMIR TOUNSI/AFP via Getty images)

The government of DR Congo, like most other African governments, is not even discussing the possibility of providing subsidies or stimulus checks, a luxury, given the limited fiscal space most African governments have.

The curfew is in force sine die and Congolese who adore night life and especially adore the nighttime festivities linked to Christmas and New Year are already applying on social media for a temporary lifting in order to celebrate Christmas and the New Year.

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