The Rwandan government has announced temporary measures that must be observed for two weeks to avert a possible spread of the New Coronavirus following the registration of a first case in Rwanda.
The Government, through the Ministry of Health said places of worship shall close on Sunday, March 14 while schools close on Monday for at least two weeks following an assessment to ascertain what needs to be done.
“Following assessment by the Ministry of Health, the following measures shall be observed for an initial period of two weeks in order to further strengthen the country’s ability to mitigate the risk of COVID19 coronavirus transmission,”
“Places of worship are closed from Sunday 15 March 2020, with prayers to be conducted from home. Schools and higher education institutions (both public and private) shall close on Monday 16. Employees should be permitted to work from home wherever possible, in consultation with their employers,” the statement announcing measures reads in part.
“Large gatherings such as weddings and sporting events are to be postponed, and the number of people attending burial ceremonies should be minimised. Businesses and restaurants continue to operate, but adequate distance between customers must be maintained, at least 1 meter,” it adds.
The Government said unnecessary movements should be avoided, and public transport must not be overcrowded. Hand hygiene and social distancing are the only effective methods of preventing transmission of coronavirus,”
“Citizens are therefore reminded of the critical importance of frequent hand washing and of avoiding unnecessary physical contact with others. Ordinary soap is the most effective product for hand-washing, followed by alcohol-based sanitizer. The use of face masks is only recommended for patients and those in direct contact with patients,” the statement adds.
The Ministry of Health further said any person with the classic symptoms of COVID-19 coronavirus (dry cough, high fever) should stay at home and call the toll-free number 114 for further guidance, or consult a Community Health Worker.
“By carefully following these instructions, every single one of us is making an invaluable contribution to protecting our country and our people,” the statement adds.
President Paul Kagame on Saturday urged Rwandans to remain calm and focussed on government directives, encouraging them that the country will overcome, following the registration of the first case. President Kagame said Rwanda has in the past surmounted more difficult challenges.
On Saturday morning, Rwanda confirmed the first case of COVID-19, an India citizen who arrived from Mumbai on March 8 turned out positive of the virus which has killed over 5, 800 worldwide and infected 155,812.
The identity of the Indian national has been kept private as he undergoes treatment. The Ministry of Health said Saturday the Indian national arrived from Mumbai on March 8 but did not exhibit any signs but presented himself on March 13 and tested positive.
“He is under treatment in stable condition, isolated from other patients,” the Ministry tweeted, adding that the tracing of all his contacts has been conducted for further management,” the Statement said without revealing his identity.
The Government urged all residents in the country to continue to observe all instructions from health authorities, particularly washing hands regularly, avoiding large gatherings, and reporting any symptoms by calling the toll-free number 114. New directives will be issued after two weeks.