Coronavirus cases rise to 8 in Rwanda

Rwanda has confirmed the eighth case of coronavirus after a 35-year old Burundian national tested positive on Tuesday.

The Ministry of Health said in a statement that the Burundian man arrived in Rwanda on Monday, March 16 from Dubai, United Arab Emirates (UAE), in transit to Bujumbura capital.

 

He was “detected by airport medical screening personnel” based on symptoms he showed.

 

“All confirmed coronavirus patients remain under treatment in stable condition, isolated from other patients,” the statement reads in part, adding that the tracing of all their contacts has been conducted.

 

Rwanda is now counting eight cases of the novel coronavirus cases.

Two people – a Rwandan and a German native – on Monday tested positive.

The recent cases include that of a Rwandan woman whose husband tested positive for coronavirus on Sunday with recent travel history in Fiji, the United States and Qatar.

The other is a 61-year old German native who arrived in Rwanda on March 13, from Germany via Istanbul.

According to the statement from the Ministry, the German man didn’t initially show symptoms, but developed cough and went to a health facility on March 15 from where he was tested positive.

On Sunday, four people had tested positive – three Rwandan nationals and a Ugandan – three of whom had travel history while the other had no recent travel history.

Recent cases

The identified cases on Sunday were of a 34-year old Rwanda who arrived from South Sudan on March 6, and his brother, a 36-year old who arrived from Fiji via United States of America and Qatar on March 8.

A 30-year old man in Kigali with no recent travel history and a 22-year old Ugandan who arrived in Rwanda from London on March 15, all tested positive for Covid-19.

Rwanda confirmed its first coronavirus case on Saturday, an Indian citizen who arrived from Mumbai, India, on March 8, never showed symptoms initially until March 16 when he was tested positive.

The Government has urged residents to continue to observe instructions from health authorities, particularly washing hands regularly, avoiding large gatherings, and reporting any symptoms.

Measures to curb the pandemic

Schools, church services and masses, conferences and other events, have been postponed, temporarily closed or cancelled, while employers have been directed to let their employees work from home.

Government had temporarily closed schools and places of worship, but in the latest statement, it says that the closure period may be renewed based on circumstances.

President Paul Kagame has taken upon himself to urge citizens to not panic, but observe the right instructions, which he said are simple but effective measures which are key to keeping everyone safe.

Handwashing has been recommended as one of the most effective precautionary measures to take, and the President took part in a #SafeHands challenge to encourage citizens to uphold this practice.

The coronavirus has become a pandemic with more cases being confirmed in almost every corner of the world. Many African countries continue to register new cases.

Countries like Tanzania, Somalia and Liberia confirmed their first cases on Monday.

As of March 17, 2020, 443 total COVID-19 cases have been reported in 30 African countries, according to Africa CDC.

A total of 10 deaths have been reported from four African countries.

jbizimungu@newtimesrwanda.com

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