Rwanda to close airports as COVID-19 cases rise to 11

Rwanda’s health ministry has announced the country will halt air travel for a period of 30 days beginning Friday. This comes as three new cases of COVID-19 were confirmed in the country late Wednesday. 

The three new cases include a 37-year-old Indian woman, who is married to the country’s first confirmed case; a 45-year-old Rwandan man who arrived in the country from Belgium on Monday; and a 26-year old Rwandan man who, notably, has no history of recent travel. 

Their positive test results bring the total number of confirmed cases in Rwanda to 11 and have prompted the landlocked nation to announce its most stringent travel restrictions yet in the face of the spreading virus. 

The decision to suspend “all arriving and departing commercial passenger flights” will drastically reduce the country’s connectivity and effectively halt operations for its national carrier, Rwandair. 

Wednesday’s announcement from the health ministry again hinted that the 2-week closure of schools and places of worship could be extended.