Rwanda: COVID-19 - Govt Urges Vigilance as Rusizi Is Put Under Special Supervision

The Ministry of Health has placed Rusizi under extra supervision after the Western Province District, which borders DR Congo and Burundi recorded five new Covid-19 cases in just a single day.

The patients were identified by the Ministry of Health as cross-border business operators, truck drivers who ply the Rusizi-Bukavu route, DR Congo, and one taxi motorcyclist.

Under the new initiatives, the Government has dispatched additional medical workers to Rusizi to assist in the existing team in management, and containing the spread of the virus.

To avoid more infections, movements between provinces and Kigali city that were expected to resume on June 1, as well as taxi motors were all suspended until further notice. The cabinet is expected to announce fresh Covid-19 guidelines on June 2.

Dr. Daniel Ngamije, the Minister of Health, said on radio that the five new patients, which were identified in Rusizi are under the ministry's management.

"We have all the information needed on the new patients. The tracing and supervision are ongoing. In the meantime, we could not resume movements until possible infections are tracked," he said.

Prof. Anastase Shyaka, the Minister of Local Government, noted that precautionary measures need to strictly be observed by the public from all parts of the country.

"The virus is still active and we call upon the public to continue obeying existing measures and avoid panic," he explained.

He also revealed that the ministry had conducted countrywide research to determine the presence of coronavirus in the public.

The research found that cases were imported from neighboring countries, he disclosed.

In the case of Rusizi, all five new cases were imported from DR Congo.

He added that there is a need to closely supervise cross-border operations.

Rwanda and DR Congo are considering options to administer less risky movements between both countries.

Last week, in a meeting held in Rubavu, both countries agreed on a set of mechanisms to revive cross-border trade.

Dr. Ngamije explained that had it not been for the new cases in Rusizi District, inter-provincial travels would have been resumed.

Rwanda 370 confirmed coronavirus cases, of whom 256 have been discharged from treatment centres after recovery. The country also recorded the first death of this pandemic on May 30.

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