President Paul Kagame says Rwanda and the world will overcome the outbreak of the new Coronavirus strain which has disrupted the world, urging for solidarity and vigilance following Rwanda registering the first case.
The Government on Saturday announced that Rwanda had registered the first case of the deadly virus after an Indian citizen arrived in the country on March 8 and turned himself in on March 13 before testing positive.
In a series of tweets, President Kagame urged Rwandans to follow procedures to avoid further spread of the virus, commending the World Health Organisation (WHO) and its Director General Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus for the work done so far to battle the virus.
“As the world faces the #COVID19 pandemic, our thoughts and prayers are with the victims, families and their loved ones. We wish strength to the health workers on the frontlines & quick recovery to all patients. Thank you Dr Tedros and WHO for your leadership in these trying times,”
“Rwanda has registered its first #COVID19 case. As emphasized by others, panic in this situation does not help. Focus and simple but effective measures are key to keeping each other and everyone safe,” President Kagame said in the wake of lots of misleading information circulating on social media.
The Head of State urged Rwandans to follow the procedures put out by the government, including maintaining high levels of hygiene to keep the fast spreading virus at bay. President Kagame shared a link with guidelines shared by Rwanda Biomedical Council (RBC).
“Washing hands frequently, avoiding handshakes, practicing social distancing of at least 1m away from people, among others. We urge everyone to follow the health guidelines (supported by science and best management practices): https://bit.ly/39RJNFZ,”
“As always, we will overcome these difficult times through solidarity and working together. This will require the discipline Rwandans have always shown in confronting challenges and getting good results,” he said.
President Kagame’s advice followed an announcement by the Ministry of Health on Saturday that Rwanda had announced it has registered the first case of New Coronavirus on Saturday after an Indian citizen who arrived from Mumbai on March 8 tested positive of the deadly virus which is spreading fast across the globe.
A statement released by the Ministry of Health, the Indian, who is resident in Rwanda did not exhibit any signs but presented himself on March 13 as some fear that he could have interacted with several people before turning himself in.
“An Indian citizen who arrived from Mumbai, India, on March 8, tested positive for Coronavirus (COVID-19). The patient had no symptoms of the virus on arrival in Rwanda and reported himself to a health facility on March 13, where he was immediately tested,”
“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.
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.
We are in firm control of the situation – Dr Ngamije
The Minister of Health Dr Daniel Ngamije in an interview with KT Press urged people not to panic or share misleading information because the government is in firm control.
“Everything is under control. We are going to apply all measures of safety. We can assure the general public that there is nothing to worry about. They should go about their work and lives, observing the guidelines and ensuring proper hygiene,”
“We have traced all the people the index case got in contact with, from the travellers in the plane he travelled on, to Immigration Officers, colleagues at work and his family. We are handling this and we want to discourage people and the media from spreading false information,” Dr Ngamije said in an interview.
Dr Ngamije said the government has upped efforts to test, isolate and treat, pointing out that health personnel and facilities are working around the clock to keep the situation in check.
He urged citizens to keep calm and follow government updates. He refuted rumours of bans of gatherings and curfew, urging citizens to stay clear of sensational information that could cause panic.
“The message is simple, avoid unnecessary gatherings or places where many people convene,” he said.
Rwanda becomes the second country in the East African Community (EAC) to register.