Schools to close, social gatherings banned as caution against coronavirus

On 15 March 2020 at 10:47

The Ministry of Health has announced that following assessment on the spread of Coronavirus (COVID-19), all public and private schools as well as higher education institutions will close by Monday March 16th, 2020. Places of worship will be closed as well starting Sunday, March 15th, 2020 while employees are advised to work from home when possible.

The announcement comes after the first case of COVID-19 in Rwanda.

The patient is an Indian citizen who arrived in Rwanda from Mumbai, India on March 8th, 2020. He is currently receiving appropriate medical care after he reported himself to a health facility on March 13th.

New measures to prevent COVID-19 transmission include that all places of worship are closed starting March 15th and that all prayers shall be conducted at home.

Schools and higher education institutions will close on Monday, March 16th, 2020 and employees shall be working from home when possible and after consulting their employers.

Additionally, large gatherings such as weddings and sports activities will be postponed until further notice while the number of people attending burial ceremonies should be kept minimal.

Businesses and restaurants will not be affected by the new measures but customers are advised to keep a reasonable distance between each other.

In an interview with Rwanda Broadcasting Agency (RBA), Prof Shyaka Anastase, Minister of Local Government confirmed that all students from public or private schools as well higher education institutions will go home starting Monday, March 16th, 2020.

The Ministry of Education will advise on how to handle the untimely dismissal from schools.

Other measures are that all unnecessary travels should be avoided and that public transport should not be overcrowded.

The Ministry of Health advises anyone who might have COVID-19 symptoms including fever, cold, cough or difficulty to breathe to call 114 for support instead of leaving their homes to seek medical care.

Dr. Daniel Ngamije, Minister of Health confirmed the Indian patient who tested positive with COVID-19 was tested upon arrival in Rwanda and that he showed no symptoms of the virus at the time. The patient checked himself into a health facility in Kibagabaga on March 13th, 2020 and is currently receiving appropriate care.

The patient who currently serves in one of United Nations missions developed fever, a headache, and cough on March 12th, 2020 and started losing energy.

As a measure of precaution, Ngamije said the patient’s wife and gatekeeper are also kept under surveillance at the hospital for possible COVID-19 infection. Authorities are currently conducting further investigation to trace all contacts the patient might have had since his arrival in Rwanda.

The Ministry of Health has announced that all public and private schools, as well as higher education institutions, will close by Monday, March 16th, 2020.