KIGALI – Rwanda’s Ministry of Health has confirmed 17 new more cases of the coronavirus (COVID-19) bringing the number of people diagnosed with the virus in the East African country to 36.
In a statement released Monday, March 23, 2020, the patients, who comprise five travelers from Dubai, three from Kenya, two from the US, and two from Qatar and India each have been isolated, as persons who came into contact with them are being traced.
The authorities said one contact of a previously confirmed case was identified through tracing.
According to a statement issued by the ministry on Sunday, all patients remain in stable condition, isolated from other patients while people who came in contact have been traced for further management.
In a bid to combat the coronavirus (COVID-19) which has ravaged the world, the government of Rwanda on Saturday, March 21st declared a countrywide lockdown.
Following the declaration, only essential services are allowed to operate and the country’s borders have been closed to passenger traffic.
Only freight transporters are being allowed into and out of the country while returning nationals or legal citizens will also be allowed in but the latter category must be subjected to a mandatory 14-day quarantine.
Other measures include a temporary ban on non-essential travel between different cities and districts across the country, while all employees both in the public and private sectors will work from home.
According to the government, all these are measures taken to contain the virus from spreading.
No one has died of the virus in Rwanda.
All markets and shops selling foodstuffs and other essential groceries remain open.
Other services that are open include hospitals, banks, pharmacies, petrol stations, among others while public transport will also be allowed to remain in operation to service the providers of these essential services.
The government immediately tasked local government institutions and security organs to ensure compliance with the new instructions.
The lockdown follows several other preventive measures whereby 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.
Globally, close to 340,000, coronavirus cases had been recorded by Sunday, while the death toll stands at 14,700, according to the World Health Organisation.