Rwanda Records 13 New COVID-19 Cases, Total Now 225 As Region Ramps Up Joint Efforts

Rwanda registered 13 new cases of New Coronavirus on Wednesday out of 1,705 samples that were tested over 24 hours. The new cases bring the total number of confirmed cases in Rwanda to 225.

The Increase, as it has been in the last few days, has been attributed to cross-border truck drivers which have become a concern for the East African Community (EAC).

The Ministry of Health reported three new recovered patients on Wednesday, putting total recoveries at 98 while active cases are now 127.

The new numbers come at a time when the country is awaiting new directives as the lockdown for the prevention of the spread of the virus is expected to end on Thursday at midnight.

President Paul Kagame on Wednesday told the virtual meeting of the African Union Bureau with chairs of regional economic communities that the EAC bloc is working on a joint plan to deal with the issue of truck drivers who are turning out to be the leading importers of the virus.

“The focus of attention has been to minimise the cross-border movement of people, while ensuring that the free movement of goods is able to continue. The East African Community has also provided mobile testing laboratories for Member States to use at designated border crossings,” President Kagame told the meeting.

President Kagame said the East African region has made some good progress but there is more work to do, particularly in the areas of coordination and harmonization, calling for more concerted efforts.

“A comprehensive regional response plan is still needed, and really owning up fully to this heavy responsibility where we not only do our best in our own countries but share information and harmonise the way we go about business in the whole region,” he said.

His Ugandan counterpart Yoweri Kaguta Museveni revealed through Twitter that he had a conversation with President Kagame and President Uhuru Kenyatta on the issue of cross-border truck drivers who have proved to be tricky for countries to manage.

“I had a very long discussion with H.E Uhuru Kenyatta and H.E @PaulKagame regarding truck drivers. I also talked to H.E @MagufuliJP on a slightly different subject. However, President Kenyatta and President Kagame agreed that we can have a common plan for truck drivers,” President Museveni said.

Tanzania has particularly been faulted for its handling of the outbreak, with President Magufuli appearing reluctant to put in place strict measures to avert the spread.

Cases in Tanzania have spiked to 480 cases and 6 deaths by press time. Earlier this week, President Kagame, who is the sitting chair of the EAC said that there have been several attempts to have a joint effort by the Heads of States but not all leaders have been available on the agreed dates.

Globally, Coronavirus cases have reached 3,199,277 while deaths were at 226, 790 by press time. Without joint efforts, experts have warned that countries will have a long way to go to put a stop on the outbreak.




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