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UNICEF orders 1 million face masks for DR Congo

The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) has placed orders with NGOs and women’s associations for the manufacture of one million reusable face masks for the most vulnerable children and communities in the Democratic Republic of Congo to prevent the spread of the Coronavirus, an official said Tuesday.

Earlier in the day, the country announced that the number of confirmed coronavirus cases had reached 359, including 25 deaths and 45 recoveries.

“This initiative covers the entire national territory and will not only respond to the decision of the authorities in some provinces of the country that require the mandatory wearing of masks but will also contribute to the empowerment of women from the most disadvantaged backgrounds,” said Edouard Beigbeder, UNICEF Representative in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

He noted, however, that the use of masks alone would not be enough to stop infections and must be combined with other measures, including the regular washing of hands and covering the mouth and nose when sneezing and coughing as well as social distancing.

Noting that technical specifications were given to the mask makers, UNICEF added that an awareness campaign on their proper use and maintenance will be conducted.

“The distribution of these masks will be done door-to-door in communities through members of administrative cells,” it added.

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