A 30 day lockdown and curfew decreed in the Republic of Congo. An announcement made by the president Denis Sassou Nguesso, 24 hours after the confirmation of 15 new coronavirus cases.

This brings the total number of cases to 19 as at Saturday March 28 when the president addressed the nation. The move is part of efforts to control the spread of the coronavirus pandemic.

Measures will come into force from 31 March in this oil-producing country of about five million inhabitants.

The night time curfew is scheduled from 8 p.m. to 5 a.m. local time, while the restrictions concern the entire population “except those working to provide essential goods and services,” according to the head of state.

The Congolese president also announced a “state of health emergency.” Mitigation efforts include the creation of a National Solidarity Fund to support businesses, compensate for loss of income from assets and help vulnerable people.

The countries is entering lockdown at a time when two patients recovered, according to a press release from government spokesman and information Minister, Thierry Moungala.