Ministry of Health in Rwanda has advised traveling agencies working at Kigali international airport to provide respiratory masks to passengers heading to China due to the outbreak of a mysterious respiratory disease known as ‘Novel Coronavirus’.
The disease has so far killed four people in the Chinese city of Wuhan.
The advisory was given on Thursday 24, following reported cases of Novel coronavirus in Asian countries including China, Japan, Thailand, and South Korea and has extended to United States of America.
“We have advised travel agencies to provide respiratory masks to passengers heading to China and other destinations where the virus has been reported. Novel Coronavirus has been detected in China and some other Asian countries, so we need to protect ourselves,” Dr Diane Gashumba, the Minister of health said.
“Respiratory masks protect people from inhaling contaminated air .Novel coronavirus can be transmitted through air and body fluids.”
Earlier on Tuesday 21, the ministry of health released a communiqué warning travelers against same virus. The communiqué partly read that people traveling to these countries should “avoid contact with animals, dead or alive, and avoid spending much time in animal markets.”
“It is also advisable to avoid close contact with people suffering from respiratory disease and to maintain hygiene”.
The ministry further advised to avoid contact with sick people, to wash hands with soap and clean water.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO) report about the virus, 296 cases of the virus have been reported. Most of these victims are linked to large wholesale fish and live animal markets in Wuchan city, Hubie province of China.
Chinese expert on infectious diseases confirmed human-to-human transmission of the SARS-like virus that has spread across the country and reached three neighboring Asian states.
SARS stands for Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome.
The broadcaster CCTV quoted Zhong Nanshan, a renowned scientist at the national health commission who helped expose the scale of the 2003 outbreak of SARS, while saying that human-to-human transmission is confirmatory.
Nanshan says coronavirus virus has caused alarm because of its connection to SARS, which killed nearly 650 people across China and Hong Kong in 2002-2003.