As the medical experts try to find a cure to the pandemic, DR Congo will take part in trials of vaccines against the disease.
This decision comes after former footballers, Samuel Eto’o, Demba Ba and Didier Drogba blasted medical experts who suggested that Africa should be the testing ground for vaccines against the coronavirus.
The virus originated from China and has over one million cases with almost 60,000 deaths. Italy and Spain are the countries with the highest casualties with over 25,000 deaths.
There is no cure for the virus yet, but medical experts have developed various vaccines that are set to be trialled.
But despite having just a few cases compared to other continents, Africa has been suggested as the testing ground for the vaccines.
However, it did not sit well with some African footballers with Eto’o, Demba Ba and Drogba leading the protest. They all took to their social media pages to express their disgust at the suggestion.
“Africa is not your playing ground,” Eto said on his Instagram page.
His comments were also echoed by Drogba and Demba Ba who both urged Africans to reject the idea.
It is totally inconceivable we keep on cautioning this.
Africa isn’t a testing lab.
I would like to vividly denounce those demeaning, false and most of all deeply racists words.
Helps us save Africa with the current ongoing Covid 19 and flatten the curve. pic.twitter.com/41GIpXaIYv
— Didier Drogba (@didierdrogba) April 2, 2020
Bienvenue en occident , la où le blanc se croit tellement supérieur que racisme et débilité deviennent banalité. TIME TO RISE ✊🏿 pic.twitter.com/R08R7K9QAw
— Demba Ba (@dembabafoot) April 2, 2020
But despite their outrage, the Democratic Republic of Congo have agreed to take part in trials of the vaccines against the disease.
The coronavirus task force in the DRC says the country is willing to take part in trials of a vaccine against the disease. According the African Centre for Disease Control and Prevention, the DRC has 134 cases of COVID-19, thirteen deaths and three recoveries. #sabcnews
— Radio 2000 (@Radio2000_ZA) April 4, 2020
This was confirmed by Jean-Jacques Muyembe, who is the head of DRC’s agency leading the pandemic response.
UPDATE: DR Congo will be one of the countries where #COVID19
vaccines from U.S, China and Canada will be tested beginning in July – says Jean-Jacques Muyembe, head of DRC's agency leading the pandemic responsepic.twitter.com/FGQLpzcUX7
— The Chronicles (@ChroniclesRW) April 3, 2020
The trial is set to begin in July, he confirmed.