If you think it is time to relax and lower your mask, you might need to think again. The New Coronavirus is still with us. This is the advice President Paul Kagame has given, in response to a challenge by the Director General of World Health Organisation (WHO), Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, encouraging people to continue wearing their face masks.
The Head of State posted a photo of himself wearing a face mask, accompanying it with a message that despite the gains, months into the fight, COVID-19 remains a threat.
“Months into the fight against #Covid19, the pandemic still rages globally. We are not losing the battle but more & better work is needed. #WearAMask, wash hands, Test/Trace/Isolate/Treat & listen to advice of public health experts!!,” President Kagame tweeted, tagging Africa Centre for Disease Control (CDC), the Ministry of Health and the official government account.
President Kagame was challenged by Dr. Tedros alongside President Emmanuel Macron of France, Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte of Italy, the Prime Minister of Spain, Pedro Sánchez and President Cyril Ramaphosa of South Africa, who is also the African Union chairman.
Dr. Tedros invited the leaders to join the #WearAMask challenge to “help us spread the word about how and when to use a mask to protect our loved ones from #COVID19”, adding that “Together, we can 𝗱𝗼 𝗶𝘁 𝗮𝗹𝗹!”.
President Kagame’s post came at the end of the World Mask Week which was started by WHO and other partners on August 7.
WHO teamed up with the Global Citizen, the Pandemic Action Network, the US Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Africa Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC), Google, Facebook, and many other organizations to rally behind the importance of wearing masks.
During a press conference to launch the campaign on August 3, Dr. Tedros challenged people across the globe to post their photos or videos on social media wearing a mask, with a hashtag #WearAMask and challenge their friends.
“WHO is launching a new #WearAMask challenge! By wearing a mask, you are sending a message of solidarity and protecting other people, especially those most vulnerable to #COVID19,”
“Take a photo or a video of yourself wearing a mask, share it and nominate friends to do the same,” Dr Tedros encouraged.
As infection rates continue to increase in some countries around the world, WHO says mask-wearing is one of the best tools to protect one another, especially in places where social distancing is not possible.
Until now, there is no vaccine or treatment confirmed to protect people against the New Coronavirus.
Meanwhile, on Friday, at Urugwiro Village, President Kagame chaired a cabinet meeting on various topics including measures for containing the spread of #COVID-19 and other ways forward for Rwanda.
WHO has commended Rwanda for its efforts to contain the virus, putting it among countries which have successful contained the spread of COVID-19, alongside New Zealand, Germany and Singapore, among others.
Rwanda has so far registered 2, 200 positive cases, of which 1, 558 have recovered and 8 deaths. The country has so far conducted 319, 295 tests.