Rwanda: Case of COVID-19 Confirmed in Rwanda

Health workers conduct coronavirus tests (file photo).

The Ministry of Health of Rwanda has reported the country's first case of COVID-19, an Indian citizen, male.

The transmission is believed to have occurred abroad. The patient who arrived from Mumbai, India on 08 March 2020 has tested positive for coronavirus (COVID-19). The patient had no symptoms upon arrival in Rwanda and reported himself to a health facility on 13 March, where he was immediately tested. He is currently under treatment in stable conditions, isolated from other patients.

President Paul Kagame of the Republic of Rwanda on Saturday 14th March advised Rwanda to remain calm and focus on simple but effective measures that are key to keeping each other and everyone safe. "As the world faces the COVID19 pandemic, our thoughts and prayers are with the victims, families and their loved ones. We wish strength to the health workers on the frontlines and quick recovery to all patients," President Kagame said.

The President said "As always, we will overcome these difficult times through solidarity and working together. This will require the discipline Rwandans have always shown in confronting challenges and getting good results." The Head of State thanked the Director General of the World Health Organization and his team for their leadership in these trying times.

WHO has provided technical and material support to countries in Africa, including the coordination, surveillance, laboratory capacity and risk communication and community engagement since the COVID-19 outbreak was declared to be a public health emergency of international concern. WHO has provided testing kits to national laboratories as well as training to laboratory technicians. WHO has dispatched personal protective equipment for health workers, as well as thermometers and other essential supplies for screening and handling suspect cases.

While there is still much to learn about COVID-19, people can take actions to prevent the disease through simple, day-to-day measures. These include regular hand washing with soap and water; coughing into a tissue or a bent elbow, being sure to safely dispose of the tissue afterwards; maintaining a social distance of at least one metre, particularly if that person is coughing; avoiding touching the eyes, nose and mouth; and seeking medical attention early if a person develops a fever or cough.

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