Rwanda urges vigilance over COVID-19

NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 25: President of Rwanda Paul Kagame addresses the United Nations General Assembly on September 25, 2018 in New York City. World leaders gathered for the 73rd annual meeting at the UN headquarters in Manhattan.
NEW YORK, NY – SEPTEMBER 25: Rwandan President Paul Kagame addresses the 73rd United Nations (U.N.) General Assembly on September 25, 2018 in New York City. The United Nations General Assembly, or UNGA, is expected to attract 84 heads of state and 44 heads of government in New York City for a week of speeches, talks and high level diplomacy concerning global issues. New York City is under tight security for the annual event with dozens of road closures and thousands of security officers patrolling city streets and waterways. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

The Rwandan government on Friday urged its citizens to be vigilant in the face of the global spread of COVID-19, warning people to avoid handshakes and close body contact such as hugging.

“Rwanda has put in place preparedness and response mechanisms to deal with a possible outbreak; however, given the severity of the epidemic and rapidity with which it spreads we urge all Rwandans to take appropriate precautions and follow the advice of health professionals,” the prime minister’s office said in a statement.

Warning the public against unnecessary travel to countries affected by COVID-19, the statement urged people to cover their mouth and nose when coughing or sneezing in public and wash their hands with clean water and soap or hand sanitizer.

It also urged the public to avoid contact with others when suffering from flu-like symptoms, coughing or high fever.

In addition, it urged people to contact their nearest health facility whenever they have symptoms such as flu, fever, a running nose, or a cough with a sore throat.

The Ministry of Health and other relevant institutions will continue to work on adequate strategies in the fight against the epidemic, the statement added.

On Friday, Cameroon became the latest African country to confirm its first case of COVID-19.