Weddings will be put on hold for 45 days in the Republic of Congo to help stem the spread of the coronavirus Photo: AFP/File

Congo bans weddings for 45 days in anti-COVID move


The Republic of Congo on Wednesday announced a 45-day ban on weddings, a move that it said would help to stem the spread of coronavirus.

"Ceremonies for civil, religious and traditional marriages and dowries are being suspended for a duration of 45 days," the communications minister, Thierry Moungalla, said in a statement read on public television.

The Central African country, also known as Congo-Brazzaville to distinguish it from the far larger Democratic Republic of Congo, is facing a third wave of the virus, he said, citing its national anti-COVID team.

"This extremely concerning and serious situation stems greatly from a widespread decline by the public in following distancing measures," he said.

The decline was "particularly noticeable at wakes, burials, weddings and other festivities, in public transport," he said, criticizing the "near absence" of controls to rectify such behavior.

Local rights activist Tresor Nzila told AFP that the ban was "disproportionate and ineffective" and a "further attack" on liberties.

Congo, a country of around 5.5 million people, has officially recorded 15,445 cases of COVID-19 since March 14, 2020, of which 222 have been fatal, according to figures published on Sunday.

© 2021 AFP

©2021 GPlusMedia Inc.

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