COVID-19: Rwanda Records Highest Number of Cases at 22, Attributed to Cross Border Truck Drivers

 Rwanda has registered the highest number of New Coronavirus in a single day, recording 22 new cases out of 1,046 tests conducted over the last 24hrs.

The spike in numbers is attributed to cross-border truck drivers and their assistants, pushing the total number of cases to 176, of which 87 have recovered and 89 are active cases.

Cross-border truck drivers, especially from Tanzania and Kenya, have been cited as the latest threat of importers of the deadly virus into neighboring countries, with particularly Dar es Salaam faulted for its handling of the pandemic.

“This reflects a rise in cases of cross-border truck drivers and their assistants. All active cases are in isolation in stable condition,” the Ministry of Health announced.

The Ministry further warned that the prevention measures announced by the Government of Rwanda must continue to be rigorously observed, especially frequent hand-washing and staying at home. In addition, face masks must be worn in public and in multi-family compounds.

While Rwanda closed borders earlier in March to avert the spread of the New Coronavirus, cargo trucks and planes ferrying in goods are allowed to enter the country but concerns have been increasing in the region with truck drivers finding themselves in the spotlight.

To date, both Tanzania and Kenya, the main channels Rwanda imports her goods, are yet to put in place full lockdowns despite Coronavirus numbers there increasing.

Kenya currently has 336 cases while Tanzania has reported 284 cases, with no regular updates coming from the East African country.

The Ministry further warned that withholding information related to contact tracing or COVID-19 symptoms jeopardizes public safety and will be punished in accordance with applicable laws.

As of Thursday, cases in Rwanda were 154 but the new cases saw a sharp increase of the total number of cases.  However, according to health officials, truck drivers are escorted from border points to the point of delivery to ensure that they don’t contact anybody on the way.

Upon delivering the goods, they are taken into isolation for 14 days as they get tested and only released after testing negative.

The Ministry said no patient is in critical condition, indicating that even the one patient who was on oxygen therapy improved. However no recoveries were reported on Friday as has been the norm.

As of Friday, the virus has so far affected 2,813,608 across the globe and deaths at 196,412, expected to cross the 200, 000 mark by Saturday.




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