Rwanda takes coronavirus fight to refugee camps

The Ministry of Emergency Management on Thursday, March 19, has issued guidelines for refugee camps as the country steps up efforts to contain the spread of coronavirus.

The guidelines come a day after Rwanda confirmed 11 cases of coronavirus and suspended all commercial flights.


In a tweet, the ministry said that among the preventive measures taken to curb the spread of this virus in refugee camps include halting of school activities, churches as well as hospital and camp visits.


The ministry also discouraged large gatherings in refugee camps, for a period of two weeks.


In partnership with other stakeholders, the ministry says, there are steps taken to ensure hygiene in camps.

“So far there are measures taken to enforce the washing of hands in camps and every refugee will be given 20 litres of water per day,” reads the tweet.

It adds: “Those in charge of supplying toiletries were requested to provide enough of them and on time.”

Awareness campaigns on coronavirus are also being planned in refugee camps.

Rwanda is home to more than 150,000 refugees with 91 per cent of them living in the six refugee camps and one transit centre, according to official figures.

Refugee travel arrangement suspended

As a result of the ongoing travel restrictions and the fact that there is concern that international travel could increase the exposure of refugees to the virus, International Organization for Migration (IOM) and the UN refugee agency, United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) announced a temporary suspension of refugee travel arrangements on Tuesday, March 18.

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