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Covid-19: US Pledges Support to Rwanda

by Daniel Sabiiti
2:44 pm

Peter Vrooman-US Ambassador to Rwanda

The U.S. Embassy Kigali has said it will equally help Rwanda and its own citizens living in Rwanda to remain safe and cope up with the ongoing global covid19 crisis which has put pressure on Rwanda’s economy.

In a statement released on Twitter US  Ambassador to Rwanda, Peter Vrooman said that while these Covid-19 days are a global challenge, his country will work with Rwanda to support Rwandans and US citizens to get through this period.

“We will continue to work together with the Government of Rwanda on this unprecedented international health crisis. Together we will protect both Rwandans and Americans from Covid-19, just like the incredible progress we’ve made in the fights against HIV/AIDS and Ebola,” Vrooman said yesterday evening.

In light of protecting both Rwanda and US citizens, and responding to Rwanda’s announcement of suspension of all arriving and departing air travel starting at midnight (23:59) on Friday, March 20 for an initial period of 30 days, Vrooman said that the US embassy will keep it’s citizens updated on developments but safety should come first.

“The Department of State has no higher priority than the safety and security of U.S. citizens overseas. The department is considering all options to assist U.S. citizens in countries that have announced suspension of air travel,” Vrooman said.

The ambassador advised US citizens to follow guidelines of local health authorities and the US Center for Diseases Control (CDC) but also stay updated with Covid-19 developments at https://rw.usembassy.gov or enroll in STEP at http://STEP.state.gov and also stay in touch with airlines regarding any updated information about travel plans and/or restrictions.

This safety will not only be for US citizens, according to Vrooman, the embassy will support Rwanda through the Covid-19 crisis as it has done with other epidemics like HIV/AIDS and the recent Ebola crisis, of which Rwanda managed to survive the latter with no incident.

For 15 years now, the United States President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) in Rwanda has invested more than one billion U.S. dollars to treat and fight HIV/AIDS in Rwanda since the program launched here in 2004.

Its not clear if the US government will recall all its citizens as Covid-19 cases in Rwanda now stand at 11 cases (most of them being foreigners), France has already recalled its citizens living in Rwanda.

Other embassies like the Belgian visa services to Schengen countries https://www.schengenvisainfo.com/schengen-visa-countries-list/ have also been put on hold in the wake of the spread of the coronavirus especially through international travels.

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