COVID-19: Kagame Talks to Canada, Ethiopia PMs on Coronavirus Response

Kagame and PM Abiy-File

President Paul Kagame on Wednesday held talks with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Ethiopian Premier Ahmed Abiy over the phone on the ongoing efforts to halt the spread of the New Coronavirus as countries work around the clock to stop the pandemic which continues to wreak havoc across the globe.

“I just had a very good and productive conversation with Prime Minister @JustinTrudeau on the importance of decisive national health measures and global cooperation in ending the CoronaVirus pandemic and specific steps to address its overarching effects going forward,” President Kagame revealed on Twitter.

The two leaders discussed the global response to COVID-19 as well as its social economic impact on the economies of the two countries and strategies to overcome it. President Kagame said that he thanked PM Trudeau for Canada’s support towards eradicating the pandemic.

“I thanked him for reaching out and for offering Canada’s assistance as well as his support for a coordinated G20 member response towards allocating sufficient resources in support of actions taken by Africa. To end this pandemic, we must work together to get this right,” Kagame said.

A Statement by the Canadian PM’s office said that Trudeau passed on his best wishes to President Kagame and all Rwandans as they confront the challenge of COVID‑19, and work to minimize its health, social, and economic impacts.

“The Prime Minister thanked President Kagame for his kind wishes for Sophie Grégoire Trudeau’s recovery,” the statement said.

On March 13, it was announced that the Premier’s wife had tested positive for the virus.

The statement further said that the two leaders shared best practices on the strong steps being taken by Canada and Rwanda to protect their citizens, and to address economic challenges in their respective countries.

“They spoke about the need for the international community to work together to change the trajectory of the disease. They also agreed on the importance of reinforcing health, financial, and economic systems in Africa,”

“The Prime Minister offered Canada’s support through advice and international assistance to help vulnerable countries respond to COVID-19’s devastating impacts.

“COVID-19 is a rapidly evolving global challenge. The Government of Canada is working closely with local, provincial, territorial, and international partners to minimize its health, economic, and social impacts in Canada and around the world,” the Canadian PM’s office said.

In a separate development, President Kagame said that he has had a couple of useful conversations with the Ethiopian Prime Minister Dr. Abiy over the last 4 days and commended the Ethiopian leader for facilitating the transportation of equipment donated by Chinese businessman and philanthropist Jack Ma through his foundation.

“[I] thanked him for availing himself and his country’s resources to ferry the critical equipment offered by @JackMa, @foundation_ma and @AliBabaGroup Foundation for the fight against #COVID19,”

“We also talked about mobilisation for Africa’s own coordinated effort in the fight against the #CoronaVirus pandemic as well as the need for a very important Global one,” the Head of State said through Twitter.

The second batch of the materials donated by Ma arrived in Kigali on Tuesday aboard an Ethiopian Airlines (ET). President Kagame described the support by Jack Ma as ‘a huge shot in the arm’ and a much needed contribution in the country’s efforts to stop the spread of Coronavirus.

Rwanda has so far registered 41 cases. An addition case of a traveller who arrived from Dubai was announced on Wednesday, taking the number to 41.

Deaths by Coronavirus globally on Wednesday crossed the 20,000 mark, hitting 20, 876 deaths by press time while another 462,562 are infected. Both Canada and Ethiopia have registered COVID-19 cases and fatalities.




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