COVID-19: President Kagame Takes on WHO #SafeHands Challenge

President Paul Kagame has taken on the World Health Organisation (WHO) “Safe Hands” challenge which is aimed at encouraging people to wash hands as one of the most efficient precautionary ways to keep the New Coronavirus at bay.

President Kagame was challenged by WHO Director-General Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus who started the challenge by posting his own video washing his hands for up to a minute using the right procedures and soap.

The challenge has since been taken up by leaders and celebrities from across the globe who have posted videos washing their hands, including FIFA President Gianni Infantino, Brazilian football legend Kaka and F1 driver Romain Grosjean, among others.

President Kagame challenged fellow Heads of State in the region including President Uhuru Kenyatta of Kenya, John Magufuli of Tanzania, President Felix Tshisekedi of Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), President Cyril Ramaphosa of South Africa, President Macky Sall of Senegal, UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson and International Monetary Fund (IMF) Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva.

“I joined @WHO #SafeHands challenge. Handwashing is key to preventing the spread of #COVID19. I challenge President Kenyatta @StateHouseKenya,

@Macky_Sall, @MagufuliJP, President Tshisekedi @Presidence_RDC, 

@CyrilRamaphosa, @BorisJohnson, @KGeorgieva to join in by sharing a video,”

“I also challenge @CharlesMichel, @LMushikiwabo, @DrSenait, @RickWarren, @IamIshaSesay, @AlikoDangote, @SongweVera, @FareedZakaria, @JaredCohen, @FredSwaniker, @AngeKagame and all of you to join in the #SafeHands challenge by sharing a video,” President Kagame posted on Twitter.

President Kagame, who earlier in the day together with the First Lady Mrs Jeannette Kagame participated in the first Car Free Day at individual level by taking a walk in the neighbourhood encourages people to wash their hands for at least 40 to 60 seconds, using soaps and rubbing the proper way.

“Make sure to include your palms, back of your hands and in between your fingers. Rinse your hands with water. Dry hands with towel before using it to turn off the tap,” President Kagame says and does in the video.

WHO, the United Nations agency for health launched the #SafeHands campaign using different social media platforms to encourage people to wash their hands following the global new coronavirus outbreak.

Dr Tedros in the video said washing hands according to a step-by-step guideline issued by the agency is one of the simple things people can do to protect themselves from #COVID19, including using alcohol-based sanitizers.

“There are several practical measures you can take to protect yourself from the new coronavirus. Oneof the most important is regular, safe and effective hand hygiene,” he said emphasising the 40 to 60 seconds period for one to fully wash their hands.

Dr Tedros took to Twitter to thank President Kagame for accepting the challenge and for the support towards the fight against the virus.

“Murakoze cyane! Thank you, my brother President @PaulKagame, for agreeing to take the

@WHO #SafeHands challenge! We welcome your support, commitment & leadership in the fight against #COVID19!” he tweeted.

The WHO has issued guidance of a step-by-step procedure on how to wash and rub your hands states that hands should be washed with soap for at least 40 to 60 seconds. If you are using a hand sanitizer, rub your hands for 20 to 30 seconds.

WHO has encouraged celebrities to take part in the challenge to spread the message. Many have taken up the challenge. The New Coronavirus which continues to spread globally has so far killed 6, 492 people and infected 168,834. 




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