UNDERSTANDING CORONAVIRUS – COVID-19, THE GLOBAL PANDEMIC
As we talk today, the world is in a state of disarray and confusion about what to do and how to check the ever-increasing spread of Coronavirus (COVID-19). That started as a simple flu in the Chinese town of Wuhan has now proved to be a global epidemic without cure, thereby leaving the global village polarized and disoriented about what to do next. We are now dedicating this page to shading light on this disease that has ravaged society in a way that it hasn’t been seen for nearly a hundred years ago, since the Spanish flu in 1918.
Travel-Coronavirus update rwanda
Unnecessary movement including visits outside home are prohibited except for essential services including medical/healthcare food shopping, breaking etc. and for the personnel performing such services. All movements will require an approved permit from Rwanda National Police. A complete list of essential services will be shared by the Ministry of Local Government
Travel between Kigali and other provinces and districts of the country is not permitted, except for essential services and tourism (tourists must possess a negative Covid 19)
Public transport is prohibited however transportation of food and essential goods will continue to function, Mottos and bicycles are not permitted to carry passengers, but may offer delivery services
Kigali international airport will remain open, arriving passengers must present a negative PCR take within 120 hours prior to their first departure
With commercial aviation having resumed on August 1, after months of a suspended activity due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the Kigali International Airport has made several changes and adjustments to ensure the safety of passengers and airport staff.
We engaged Charles Habonimana, the Managing Director at Rwanda Airport Company for insights into some of the changes and adjustments.
Check-in 4 hours before departure
New processes have been adopted for departing passengers to ensure compliance with new local and international standards and procedures that aim at ensuring safety. At Kigali International Airport, the check-in time has been increased from two to four hours, a move Rwanda Airport Company said is to ensure the safety of passengers and crew.
Welcoming parties for returning travellers, will also not be allowed going forward as arrivals will be tested for Covid-19 and transit to designated hotels as they wait for their test results.
“In a bid to ensure the health and safety of everyone, we encourage that only departing travellers to come to the airport. For arriving passengers, their welcoming parties will meet them at their designated hotels, after they have been tested for Covid-19,” Habonimana said, adding that results will return in 24 hrs and if negative they proceed home.
Airport staff to operate in shifts
The airport will maintain the current staff capacity which has been scheduled to work in shifts, in compliance with the Ministry of Health safety measures such as social distancing. Just like frontline workers, airport staff will be periodically tested for Covid-19 to ensure the safety of passengers and their colleagues.
The staff was also trained in the measures and new processes in collaboration with the Ministry of Health/RBC to ensure safe operations at airports in Rwanda.
Six airlines get clearance to fly into Rwanda
So far, six airlines have been cleared to resume operations in Rwanda on different dates with more expected to join in the coming days. These include RwandAir, Ethiopian Airlines, SN Brussels, Qatar Airways, Kenya Airways, and KLM.
In the process, the airlines have been required to submit applications for the resumption of operations and an updated airline schedule.
The updated schedule allows airports to manage traffic with new measures in place.
Ongoing airport upgrade and operationalization of airstrips
According to Habonimana, the upgrade of Kigali International Airport is still ongoing and is expected to increase space in the airport terminal area.
The upgrade has however not affected the re-opening of the airport.
Habonimana added that there are also plans to make operational regional airstrips such as Kamembe.
Compliance to international and local standards
Rwanda Airport Company noted putting in place the new compliance measures at the airport was guided by regulations from various organisations including the International Civil Aviation Organization, the International Air Transport Association, the World Health Organisation, the Ministry of Health, and the Rwanda Civil Aviation Authority.
International passengers arriving at Kigali International Airport from across the world must have taken a Covid-19 test within not more than 72 hours since their departure.
This also concerns transiting passengers.
Guidelines from the Rwanda Biomedical Centre also requires arriving passengers to fill out a passenger address forms available on RBC’s website in addition to their Covid-19 certificates.
They will also be screened and required to take a second test on arrival to confirm their negative status after which they will be taken to one of the designated hotels for up to 24 hours as they await their results.
To facilitate their transit, the government has negotiated discounted rates at 17 city hotels where they will shelter until their results return.
Tests will be administered at $50 with an additional $10 medical service fee.
Test results will be relayed to guests via email or text message.
With about two weeks to the resumption of flights on August 1st, National Carrier RwandAir is working on changes with an aim to improve the safety of passengers amid the Covid-19 pandemic.
Like other airlines across the world, RwandAir will be making adjustments on a number of inflight aspects to reduce physical contact and chances of reduction of contracting the virus.
Gobena Mikael, the Chief Commercial Officer of RwandAir said that the resumption will be characterized by adjustment to improve both passenger and crew safety.
Mikael was speaking at a webinar on the Impact of Covid-19 on the East African Aviation sector convened by the East African Business Council.
The move is also aimed at ensuring passenger confidence in flights following weeks of halted operations
Among the changes Mikael noted will be rolled out include the elimination of inflight reading material to avoid physical contact.
For airlines meals and snack services, Mikael said that there is going to be a significant amendment from regular service to serving bottled drinks and packed snacks consequently reducing contacts between crew and passengers.
He noted that while this might be considered as a reduction of the level of service, it is geared at improving the safety of the crew and passengers during flights.
For long haul flights, RwandAir will adopt a lunch box type hot meal as opposed to the regular dinner, lunch and drinks service.
Other materials such as headsets, duvets and headrests, he said will be taken out, sanitized and replaced at the end of every trip.
“For materials such as headsets, duvets, headrests they will be sanitized and resealed. At the end of the trip, we will take them out and put new ones. Every seat belt, tray, and everything that is touched we have devised mechanisms to sanitize and clean them,” he said.
“We have everything in place at the moment, temperature checks, social distancing measures and signs, desk shields and visors, everyone is required to wear a mask, gowns for the crew,” he added.
While there have been widespread fears that the cost of tickets will go up as there is likely to be fewer passengers, Mikael noted that as opposed costs going up, they are likely to go down with increased competition and confidence building.
“The costs will go down, how can we expect to encourage people and bring confidence? We have to look at our customers as if they are in power, they don’t have to travel, and they have to feel safe,” he said.
For instance, RwandAir will be introducing bonus mileage, flexible pricing, and refunds without charge among other things to be more attractive to consumers.
On regional airlines survival and recovery, he said that the region’s airlines have to work together in multiple aspects such as cooperation and sharing information to make sure they can stay ahead of the pandemic and to avoid having to halt operations in the event confirmed cases increase.
With closer collaboration, he said that the regional airlines will be able to learn patterns of the ailment and curb it without much interruption to operations.
The same cooperation, he said will serve the purpose in avoiding the onslaught of smaller regional airlines by major global airlines.
As opposed to protectionism, he proposed competition on the basis of aspects such as quality and delivery.
Kenyan Airways which resumed flights this week will be relying on domestic flights in the short term as they wait for the re-opening of regional airspaces.
The airline’s Chief Executive Allan Kilavuka said that to improve recovery chances, regional countries should review the bilateral air service agreements to reduce the costs of travel between countries and consequently stimulate air travel.
Kilavuka noted that going forward, airlines are likely to work on reducing base costs and overheads to make the airlines leaner and effective.
Further, he noted that the period had shown new business models and approaches such as cargo which had grown popular in recent months.
For instance, RwandAir has been using some of its passenger planes for cargo which has revealed the existence of a market and demand.
However, even with the re-opening of the airport and resumption of flights, Air Tanzania Chief Executive Ladislaus Matindi said that one ought not to expect an immediate resumption of business activities and clientele flow.
He said that from experience in recent months, despite maintaining operations while other airlines were not flying, they hardly had any outbound flights as most countries’ airspaces were closed.
He, however, said that in the coming days as more countries consider opening up, business is likely to resume albeit slowly.
Coronavirus update rwanda-Rwandan authorities have imposed a stay-at – home order in parts of the capital, Kigali, following a spike in new cases of coronavirus. According to the Ministry of Interior, people living in Gikondo Hill in Kicukiro district and some parts of Mount Kigali in Nyarugenge district were ordered to “keep home immediately for a period of at least 15 days”
The order was issued Thursday night and on Friday, a number of people woke up unaware. Clarisse Mutamuliza, who lives in Gikondo, was called back to her house when she was about to work. “I hadn’t seen it in the news, it was reported late last night. I didn’t even know of coronavirus cases in my neighborhood,” Ms Mutamuliza told BBC Great Lakes.
The Interior Ministry said it had restored the lockdown “based on an examination by health officials of the status of coronavirus in Kigali.” In the last seven days Rwanda registered 204 new cases, including 21 in Kigali. In an eastern city bordering Tanzania, and in another western city bordering the Democratic Republic of Congo, most recent cases have been reported.
This East African nation was the first in Sub-Saharan Africa to order a full shutdown when it announced the first case of coronavirus on 21 March. Those limitations were relaxed 45 days later, in May. The country has reported 850 cases so far, 385 recoveries and 2 deaths.
The Government has taken a decision to repatriate Rwandan nationals who have been stranded in different parts of India due to travel restrictions and international suspension of flight. There are about 130 Rwandans who have been stranded in India since the close of international travel, according to the Rwandan Embassy in New Delhi.
Jacqueline Mukangira, the High Commissioner of Rwanda to India, told The New Times that an agreement was reached with RwandAir to repatriate nationals early next month. “We negotiated with RwandAir to promote the return journey for Rwandans. The plane will arrive in Mumbai on July 2, if nothing changes, “she said in a phone interview.
Mukangira said they submitted a formal request to the Indian Foreign Ministry to allow Rwanda to repatriate its citizens and asked RwandAir for clearance of landing. Some of the Rwandan Indian-stucks are students and patients who went to treat.
Nearly 100 Rwandans, who have already expressed interest in returning home, including Indian nationals working in Rwanda, are expected to be repatriated by the national carrier. The government entered into an agreement with RwandAir in April to repatriate Rwandans from abroad including those working and studying in the US.
The airline has been operating flights every Friday to and from Brussels.
Just a few days after Rwanda announced tourism reopening on chartered flights for domestic tourists and visitors, officials say the country is on a strong trajectory with bookings increasing for gorilla trekking, canopy, and Akagera safari tours.
“In a week from the reopening of the tourism sector, the trend is looking very, very good,” said Belise Kariza, Chief Tourism Officer at the Rwanda Development Board on Friday, June 26.
For Volcanoes National Park, home of the common endangered mountain gorillas, 69 bookings were made according to Kariza.
“At least 42 are confirmed bookings, meaning these are the people who will be trekking the mountain gorillas,” she noted in a webinar, adding that there is a strong proportion of international and Rwandan visitors, as well as EAC residing in Rwanda.
The remaining reservations are the ones that go for mountain hiking. The head of tourism also suggested that Nyungwe National Park, home to canopy walks, is only beginning to catch up with four confirmed tourists and 16 visitors to the Akagera National Park.
The declaration came nearly three months after the country’s tourism operations were suspended due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Tourists will now be expected to visit Rwanda on minimum health and safety guidelines. Rwanda announced discounted prices for gorilla-trekking licenses as well as special packages for other tourism offerings in the country, mainly targeting local and regional people, in order to ensure the industry picks up.
This would go a long way in promoting domestic tourism in the region, according to RDB. Global tourists are to start charging $1,500.
Tourism sector is one of the hardest-hit sectors in Rwanda, with figures showing that after the announcement of the lockout, the number of tourists dropped 54 per cent in March this year.
According to Rwanda’s National Institute of Statistics (NISR), travel receipts (revenue from foreign tourists arriving in Rwanda) fell by 35 percent in the first quarter of 2020 compared to last year’s same period.
Throughout the months of April and May, Rwanda saw a 100 per cent drop throughout tourist numbers, Kariza noted.
The private sector is still focused on ways to get back into business.
The Director-General of the Rwanda Tourism Chamber of the Private Sector Federation, Frank Gisha Mugisha, stressed that they involve hoteliers and tour operators in the creation of attractive tourism packagers.
Rwanda will host the Secretariat of the East Africa Tourism Platform, a regional private sector tourism body for the East African region established by TradeMark East Africa in 2011. The forum was created as an attempt to promote the East African Community as one destination for tourism and some describe it as a lobby group for tourism.
Rwanda was identified as the new host of the body’s secretariat during an online webinar held on Tuesday, naming three Rwandan members to be part of the governance committee.
The organization will be led by Amiable Rutagarama, Chairman of the Rwanda Chamber of Tourism, Frank Gisha Mugisha, Director-General of the Rwanda Chamber of Tourism at the Private Sector Federation (PSF), and Bonita Mutoni, Chairperson of the Rwanda Travel and Tours Association.
Trademark East Africa announced a financial package of $250,000 (approximately Rwf 238.4 million) to support the activities of the organization including business growth, advocacy, and operational efficiency, among others.
The platform was praised by Waturi Matu, senior director at Trademark East Africa, as an initiative that has powered marketing for the EAC region as one travel brand.
The organization collaborated with the national airlines of EAC countries to convince them to the airfares and offer fifth freedom rights to each other, thereby promoting travel and tourism in the region.
The launch of the platform comes at a time when tourism in the region is suffering after taking a heavy hit from the Covid-19 pandemic that has devastated countries.
Tourism and hospitality in all EAC countries have been affected, with the closing of national parks and hotel occupancy going down to zero except for a few instances where lodging facilities are used as quarantine centers.
Emmanuel Nsabimana, Head of Tourism Regulation revenue for the Rwanda Development Board, shrank as the operators lost money, bringing the industry to losses. “In March, we announced a loss of Rwf30 billion for the hospitality industry; of at least 207 hotel companies and 1,000 members,” he noted in a webinar. As a result of losing sales, he said, there are many operators struggling to pay back bank loans.
Tourism is Rwanda’s largest foreign-exchange earner, contributing 3% directly to gross domestic product (GDP) and 10% indirectly, and accounting for 8% of off-farm jobs.
According to the Rwanda Development Board (RDB), industry-generated revenues account for 21 per cent of total exports.
It’s not only in Rwanda but in other countries the sector has been destroyed. “Of many operators in the region, working capital is almost non-existent,” noted Pearl Kakooza, president of the Uganda Tourism Association. “That’s why we think governments should (as some have already done) set aside rehabilitation funds for the companies affected, and we need to open up regionally,” she said.
According to Tanzania’s Executive Secretary of the Tourism Confederation Richard Rugimbana, tourism operators in Tanzania have been left without business despite the country not introducing any lockdown measures.
The tourism industry in Tanzania produced some $2.6 billion last year, and attracted 1.5 million tourists. “But with the Covid-19 pandemic, all tour operators lost business because of the cancelation of bookings and the postponement of tours,” Rugimbana said.
Although countries are getting ready to reopen businesses, operators accept that harmonized tourism strategies are required in the region in order to revive the sector and turn its fortunes around in the long term. Fred Odek, the incoming chairperson of the East Africa Tourism Platform (EATP), highlighted that one of the key focus areas would be to revive the sector in the region.
EATP partners with national ministries responsible for agriculture, wildlife, trade and transport departments, the EAC Secretariat, and private sector organizations.
It does so by advocacy, marketing, promoting access to finance and risk management programs, capacity building, analysis, and knowledge sharing.
Rwanda has set up an economic recovery fund through which companies, especially those in the tourism and hospitality industries that have been most affected, can leverage to reopen.
Rwanda is one of four African countries whose citizens will be admitted to the Schengen zone from 11 July, reports say, as soon as the countries open their borders there.
According to studies from Europe, a list compiled using countries with a similar epidemiological situation with Europe excludes the African continent, with the exception of four countries: Rwanda, Algeria, Morocco and Tunisia.
The Schengen region comprises the following countries: Germany, Austria , Belgium, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France , Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands , Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Sweden and Switzerland.
This comes as governments across Europe, after weeks of isolation, started to open their borders during the coronavirus pandemic. Over the last few weeks the border situation in the 27-member bloc has remained a mixed picture. Through nation had its own rules and timetable for the reopening. Commercial Albanian flights resumed on 15 June.
But on Saturday, June 27, the EU seemed to have decided on how it would determine which countries are meeting health standards-one of the entry requirements.
Comments in the UK have stated that from July 6 onwards the blanket restrictions on non-essential overseas travel would ease.
The EU is reportedly considering reopening borders to travelers from more than 10 countries outside the bloc, including Japan, South Korea and Canada from July 1, following months of travel restrictions over the coronavirus outbreak.
Earlier the European Commission, the executive body of the Eurozone, proposed that the external borders be reopened from July 1.
Rwanda was the first country in sub-Saharan Africa to order a total shutdown because of the coronavirus. A number of Rwanda safari destinations including Volcanoes National Park are currently temporarily closed as a measure to curb the spread of coronavirus. However, Rwanda is considering easing the existing Coronavirus Covid-19 restrictions that had completely grounded the travel & tourism sector in order to make it possible for both locals and internationals interested in Rwanda safari tours to resume visits to various sites.
Tourism was Rwanda’s largest foreign-exchange earner until the Covid-19 pandemic spread across the world. But since March, the government had been permanently shutting down the tourism sector in the country and closing borders and airports to cover the disease’s import cost.
New Coronavirus COVID-19 Travel Conditions for Tourists
If you are one of those that want to visit Rwanda, here are a new set of guidelines that have been set to revive Rwanda’s tourism sector.
- The Government is considering allowing tourists travelling by charter flights (individual and groups) as long as they have a confirmed Rwanda tour booking to a tourist attraction in Rwanda.
- Tourists and flight crew members are expected to test negative twice for coronavirus Covid-19 results.
- Tourists will also be expected to test at least once on arrival before entering Rwanda for their Rwanda safaris.
- Upon arrival, tourists will be transferred to a transit hotel while waiting for the Covid-19 results, approximately 5 hours and the cost to be included in the Rwanda safari tour packages.
- Rwanda Tour operators and guides will pick their customers from transit hotel after results are out.
- A cost of U$(to be determined) per Covid-19 test will be included in the tourists’ packages for their safaris in Rwanda.
- While in the country, tourists and flight crew members are expected to abide by the Ministry of Health guidelines and specific guidelines for all tourists destinations in Rwanda including Rwanda National Parks.
- For emergency, question and or feedback related to Covid-19 tourists will contact toll-free 114.
- Domestic tourists visiting Nyungwe Forest National Park and Volcanoes National Parks are required to test negative prior to visiting these attractions. The test should be taken 72 hours prior to the visit date.
- Tourists are required to visit these Rwanda safari destinations within 72 hours of the negative results date. The results should be presented at the Parks’ reception.
- District and referral hospitals will be used for testing of domestic travellers. They need to have a confirmed booking.
As of today 13th June 2020, Rwanda has so far recorded a total of 494 coronavirus cases, 313 patients have so far recovered while two patients have lost their lives.
About Rwanda’s Current Lockdown Situation
- All unnecessary movements outside homes were banned until the lockdown is done except for essential services such as health care and shopping for groceries.
- Both public and private workers were ordered to work from home to help prevent the spread of the COVID-19 virus.
- Rwanda also closed its borders completely, except for goods and cargo and returning citizens. However, they have to be quarantined for two weeks (14 Days).
- Meanwhile, authorities have warned business owners not to increase prices of basic commodities.
- Public gatherings like places of worship were banned, and those who defy the orders are to be arrested.
On Wednesday 17 June 2020, the Rwanda Development Board (RDB) announced the reopening of tourism operations and attractions, with a sharp reduction in the price of permits to track endangered mountain gorillas.
RDB said in a statement that reopening of Rwanda tour activities and recommencement of international travel for charter flights are effective from June 17, 2020. However, they are exempting international tourists travelling with charter flights from anti-coronavirus measures that prohibit travellers from entry to Rwanda and suspend commercial flights.
RDB’s Chief Tourism Officer Belise Kariza said in the statement that “Rwanda’s tourism industry is adapting to create a safe environment for travellers and operators, in order to thrive in these unprecedented times.” The well-being of all Rwanda safari travellers is our top priority and we have therefore put vigorous health and safety guidelines in place.
RDB and the private sector are providing enticing all-inclusive travel packages for Rwandans and international residents interested in visiting Rwanda. These Rwanda safari tour packages were planned to highlight Rwanda’s spectacular recreational and leisure opportunities, from mountain safari trips to exciting excursions in serene landscapes and a glimpse of our vibrant cities.
Commenting on the reopening, Belise Kariza, the Chief Tourism Officer at RDB said: “Rwanda’s tourism industry is adapting to create a safe environment for travellers and operators, in order to thrive in these unprecedented times. We encourage all travel enthusiasts and nature explorers to take advantage of this unique opportunity to venture out and experience the beauty and adventure that our country has to offer.”
The board, which promotes tourism and investment for Rwanda, said permits for monitoring endangered mountain gorillas are available to Rwandan citizens and East African Community nationals living in Rwanda for 200 U.S. dollars from Wednesday until Dec. 31, 2020, 500 dollars for international residents, and a sharp drop of 1,500 dollars for all tourists.
It also said special packages are available for groups, families and corporations on other products in Volcanoes National Park, home to mountain gorillas, and Nyungwe National Park that hosts one of the oldest rainforests in Africa.
Specific precautionary measures are as follows:
Domestic tourists visiting Nyungwe Forest National Park and Volcanoes National Park are required to test negative for COVID-19 within 48 hours prior to visiting these attractions for their safari tours in Rwanda.
All visitors travelling by charter flights are expected to test negative for COVID-19 within 72 hours prior to arrival. Tourists will take a second Coronavirus COVID-19 test prior to visiting any tourist attraction for Rwanda safaris.
A private test centre has been set up at Petit Stade, Amahoro National Stadium in the capital city of Kigali, by appointment only. Other test centres outside Kigali will be communicated as demand grows.
After months of suspension of tourism activities due to COVID-19, the tourism sector in Rwanda has been adversely affected and attempts are underway to revive through various special tourism packages for visitors, RDB’s deputy CEO Zephanie Niyonkuru told Rwanda Television on Wednesday in a news programme.
He said the landlocked country generated 498 million dollars in tourism revenues in 2019.
Rwanda’s main Safari Parks-Coronavirus update rwanda
Rwanda has three main National parks; Volcanoes National Park famous for Rwanda gorilla trekking safaris, Nyungwe Forest National Park famous for chimpanzees & Canopy walk and Mukura-Gishwati. These had been closed since March due to the COVID-19 Coronavirus pandemic.
According to the World Wildlife Fund, there are over 1,000 mountain gorillas living in the world, of which a little more than half live in the Virunga Mountains, where Rwanda Volcanoes National Park lies. They contribute about 90 per cent of Rwanda national park tourism revenues, the RDB said last year in February.Statistics from the RDB shows that in 2018 Rwanda sold 15,132 mountain gorilla tour permits worth 19.2 million dollars to tourists.
National carrier RwandAir Ltd. has said that national borders remain closed to normal commercial flights and that passenger services will resume once the restrictions are lifted. Soon after announcing the first coronavirus case, Rwanda locked down swathes of the economy. So far a total of 639 people have been contaminated and 290 are waiting to recover.
Because of the Covid-19 pandemic, the 2020 Rwanda International Trade Fair, Expo2020, was postponed to 11-31 December. It was supposed to be conducted from 21 July to 10 August. The 23rd Trade Fair was postponed because the Covid-19 pandemic has affected international exhibitor movement.
Rwanda Private Sector Federation, the organizers of the exhibition, announced the postponement on Thursday, June 18.
It is predicted that countries will have opened borders and movements by December, according to Eric Kabera who is in charge of Public Relations at the Federation. “We discussed with our exhibitors from various countries and agreed that commercial activities, as well as movements, will be resumed in many countries by December,” he said.
So far, 80 per cent of expected exhibitors have registered. Of the 500 expected exhibitors, 400 from 25 countries across the globe have registered. Registration is still open.
Speaking to the press, Kabera said that the federation is discussing how expo operations can be adjusted to Coronavirus Covid-19 precautionary measures. “We started using cashless payments to pay entry fees in the last few years but we will enforce it as the only means of payment this time. We are also discussing how physical distance will be enforced,” he explained.
The exhibition ground where the Trade Fair is to be held is ready so far. It is anticipated that the number of exhibitors will increase and reach 500 in 2019, from 496 exhibitors, provided that there is more time for exhibitors to plan and register.
The 2019 Rwanda International Trade Fair drew 329,178 visitors. Kabera says the Federation expects more visitors in 2020 because more time is needed to prepare.
Lock down-Coronavirus update rwanda
Tourism activity will continue in strict adherence with COVID – 19 health guidelines. This include hotels, tour operators and transport services faciliting guests. Tourist and service providers shall inform RDB of itineraries
Designated hotels for arriving passengers will remain open under strict COVID – 19 prevention measures. RDB will share complete list of approved hotels
Hotels will only host essential conferences upon written approval from RDB. Detailed guidelines will be provided by RDB.
One of the six villages of Kigali City that were placed on lockdown in Kigali last month was permitted to return to normal life, while 3 more were added to the lockdown list.
This was announced by the Ministry of Local Government (Minaloc) on Monday night, a development that means there are currently a total of eight villages in the city on lockdown as Rwanda continues with measures to curb the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic.
The lockdown on Kadobogo village in the Kigali sector in the district of Nyarugenge will be lifted from Thursday 21 July, while Tetero, Indamutsa and Intiganda villages all located in Tetero cell, Muhima sector in the district of Nyarugenge have been lockdown for at least 15 days.
According to a statement by the Ministry of Local Governments, Kadobogo’s lifting out of the lockdown was based on an appraisal of the Covid-19 pandemic in the region by the medical institutions.
Kamabuye, Nyenyeri, Rugano and Zuba villages located in Nyarurama cell, Kigarama Sector in Kicukiro district, plus Gisenga village located in Kigali Cell of Kigali Sector, Nyarugenge district, join the 3 newly locked down villages which were already and include;
It will remain in a lockdown, according to the Local Government Ministry, until it is found that there are no more Covid-19 in those areas.
“Village residents on lockdown are instructed to continue complying with the guidelines,” read the document.
“The implementation of these guidelines should be monitored by local authorities and security authorities. Citizens living in Rwanda are urged to continue to follow the recommendations for preventing the Covid-19 pandemic from spreading as provided by health institutions, “he added.
On Thursday, June 25, six villages of Kigali City placed under a 15-day complete lockdown of Covid-19 in a bid to avoid the spread of the virus to other regions. The Ministry of Local Government announced the order, saying the decision was based on research.
“Based on an investigation carried out by the Ministry of Health on Covid-19 and some parts of Kigali City where the pandemic has been identified up to now, the following villages will be put under complete lockdown for at least 15 days,” read the ministry statement in sections.
This decision follows a trend in the identification of new positive cases in the region. For example, in Kigali city alone twenty-one cases have been confirmed since June 21. The six villages put under lockdown are located in the districts of Nyarugenge and Kicukiro.
They include villages of Kamabuye and Zuba located in Nyarurama cell, in Kicukiro district of Kigarama Sector.
The villages of Kigarama and Gikondo Sectors Nyenyeri and Rugano were also placed under lockdown, respectively.
The two cells are Kadobogo and Gisenga, situated in Kigali City, Nyarugenge District, and Kigali Sector.
According to the Ministry of Local Government, all private and public employees working in the said areas are required to operate from home during the 15 day lockout.
Moreover, according to the law, travel between the six cells and other neighboring areas is forbidden except for those with health reasons or other understandable issues.
The Ministry of Health and the City of Kigali will continue to track and see if it is appropriate to also lockdown any other locations, the statement says.
Local leaders and security bodies were also urged to follow up on enforcing the new directives which came into force immediately after publication.
So far there have been 850 confirmed cases in Rwanda, 385 of which have recovered. The world has registered two deaths since mid-March, when the first case had been documented in Rwanda.
Looking at recent updates on the country’s pandemic, the current major Covid-19 hotspots are the districts of Rusizi and Kirehe, and the city of Kigali.
Religious groups have begun enforcing steps requested by the government to reopen places of worship.
Amid the Coronavirus pandemic outbreak in mid-March, places of worship, as well as other events involving mass collection operations, were suspended as one of the measures to curb the spread of the virus.
Since the lockout was lifted, the government has suggested five conditions that will be met if the places of worship are reopened. We have visited several venerable sites to test if the requirements apply.
Some churches have increased the number of worship services to limit large congregations. Foursquare Gospel Church, for example, in Kimironko, may use a google tracking sheet to facilitate the cycle of touch tracing as well as to limit the number of attendants.
“We have a form in google that will be used by any attendant to register before they come to church. This has a set number of users, and if you seek to register after the minimum approved number, you will automatically be moved to the next service, “explained Bishop Fidele Masengo.
In addition to using infrared thermometers at each entrance, he adds that three services will be held each Sunday to limit the number of people attending.
Many churches have switched from the usual offering of hands to use digital payments. Regina pacis’ Father Jean Bosco Ntagungira in Remera says all their followers have been urged to use digital payments. “We have sensitized all members of our church to follow electronic payment methods because we are battling this pandemic,” he said.
For all the places of worship that The New Ages toured, it was clear that all the hygiene measures were adhered to: all the seats were labelled for use or not, and washing facilities were available at all entrances.
Sheik Salim Hitimana, an advisor to the president of the Inter-religious Council of Rwanda, said all the faithful would be expected to wash their hands before entering any place of worship.
Places of worship, religious wedding ceremonies as well as meetings and conferences in hotels are some of the services which are expected to restart as Rwanda continues to reopen the economy gradually, cautiously relaxing steps to contain New Coronavirus.
Ahead of opening, Religious organizations in Rwanda have been asked to make the necessary investment in Coronavirus Covid-19 preventive measures ahead of a possible reopening of places of worship in the next 15 days. The decision was announced in a statement from an extraordinary cabinet meeting chaired by President Paul Kagame on Tuesday, June 16 at Village Urugwiro. “Places of worship will remain closed. In the meantime investment in Covid-19 precautionary and preventive measures is encouraged to allow readiness for reopening within 15 days upon an epidemiological assessment,” reads parts of the statement.
Places of worship are among several activities whose operations have been halted since mid-March by the Covid-19 pandemic. The resolution follows a recent set of guidelines presented to the Rwanda Governance Board (RGB) last week by the inter-religious council that places of worship must comply with in order to avoid the spread of Covid-19 if they were given a green light to operate.
Ordinarily, places of worship are known to draw large crowds that would result in increased infections of this pandemic if not strictly controlled.
Among others, the cabinet meeting also agreed that religious weddings would resume, albeit with an attendance limit of 30 people. The Ministry of Local Government will provide comprehensive guidance in that regard, according to the statement signed by Prime Minister Edouard Ngirente.
Burial ceremonies will also continue to be observed, with the limited attendance of 30 as it has been with non-religious funeral activities which had already been permitted.
The districts of Rusizi and Rubavu in the western province will also remain closed to public transport, as it has been since schools remain closed until September.
Bars and gaming events too, as well as mass gatherings in public spaces and houses, will remain closed.
Any steps taken by the cabinet meeting are expected to be re-examined after a health review of 15 days.
Last week, the Rwanda Inter-Religious Council issued a statement indicating the precautionary measures places of worship are looking to implement in line with the prevention of COVID-19 as they prepared to reopen. Despite reopening tourism services with conditions, the country’s borders will remain closed except for cargo and goods as well as returning citizens who will continue to be subjected to mandatory quarantine in accordance with existing health guidelines.
Tourism will reopen with precautionary measures in what is likely to be a major relief for the hard-hit tourism and hospitality industry, while hotels and conference halls will be able to host meetings and conferences as long as they follow social distancing and hygiene steps.
The country continues to record marginally increased numbers of COVID-19 incidents, largely due to the clusters of Rusizi and Rusumo as well as returning Rwandans whom the authorities are seeking to contain as the government tries to revive the economy. There are currently 636 confirmed cases in Rwanda, 338 of which have recovered and two have succumbed to this pandemic.
On Thursday, June 11, Rwanda’s Ministry of Local Government announced that Nkombo Island in Rusizi District is currently under total lockdown. The move was announced and told due to an increase in Covid-19 coronavirus infections recently identified in the region.
“Nkombo is currently under total lockdown, in a bid to curb the spread of the coronavirus pandemic in the area,” Anastase Shyaka, the Minister for Local Government announced on his Twitter account.
Nkombo island joins four other industries that were previously placed under complete lockdown in Rusizi district, according to the local government. Last week, sectors like Nyakarenzo, Mururu, Kamembe and part of Gihundwe were totally locked up and will remain out of contact with other sections of Rusizi and the nation as efforts continue to isolate cases that may be in the communities.
Tharcisse Mpunga, the State Minister in the Ministry of Health said that more patients are being traced in Rusizi district. However, medical teams and facilities have been dispatched in the area to manage and contain the spread of the virus, he said. “We have been recording a big number of patients from the same areas. It means the virus has been spreading for days. Until we trace all the patients, the district will remain under lock-down,” he said.
Besides, the government is cognizant of the fact that the majority of residents from this town thrive on trade, especially across the border and will, therefore, be heavily affected by the lockdown, Minister Shyaka said.
Accordingly, Shyaka added, the government is ready to help companies, individuals whose daily survival depended on cross-border business and hand-to-mouth jobs.
Furthermore, the Minister called for complete lockdown coordination between citizens and advised the public to adhere to protective measures and avoid interaction with locked-down areas.
The decision of the Local Government Ministry was revealed on the same evening, when the Ministry of Health reported 18 new cases of COVID-19, most of which are connected to clusters of Rusizi and Rusumo.
A total of 494 cases of coronavirus have been recorded so far in the country, 313 patients have recovered so far while two patients have lost their lives.
The Rwanda Inter-religious council has pitched to the government a set of measures that religious organizations should put in place once the government decides to reopen religious gatherings. The development comes to a couple of days after the Government asked faith-based Organizations to present to it measures that they could use to curb the spread of the coronavirus pandemic in worship places.
The Inter-religious Council, in response, submitted a statement to the Rwanda Governance Board (RGB) on Thursday 11 June. The declaration, signed by Archbishop Dr Laurent Mbanda, Vice-President of the Inter-Religious Council of Rwanda, compiles numerous protective steps to be followed in order to avoid the spread of the pandemic once restrictions on places of worship are removed.
Worship places are among the activities that have remained closed since the end of March. Although the measures have not yet been the given green light, the plans pitched by the Inter-religious council give a clue about how religious gatherings may look like when the government allows their reopening. Some of the measures include the following;
Preachers and priests are allowed not to wear when they are on the altar.
Reduction of the number of worshipers to value social distance on the stage.
Shaking hands and kissing are forbidden. They are forbidden from using the same microphone. During Holy Communion reverence for social distance.
Overnight prayers and concerts are not allowed, social prayer rooms not allowed, children’s prayers are not allowed, cells are not allowed.
Laying hands on people during prayer is forbidden, sharing Bibles and hymn books is not allowed.
Other measures include; avoiding the circulation of offering baskets and instead embrace the use of technology to give offerings such as Mobile Money, money transfer and Bank Transfer.
Religious weddings should not exceed 50 attendants and all should respect all guidelines in place including isolating anyone with COVID-19 symptoms.
Baptism for the Protestants and Adventists is not allowed.
For Muslims in addition to the above-mentioned guidelines, they are also instructed to bring one mat for each person, use Quran downloaded in their mobile phones, avoiding touching on Quran and other books in the Mosque.
Cleaning worship places before and after services, setting up washing hand places and use of sanitizers, and using temperature testing devices.
Respect of social distancing while seated, wearing masks during the service, sensitizing people on the guidelines to curb the pandemic, and delegating a group of volunteers to oversee the implementation of guidelines during the services.
For churches that have many congregants and hold more than one service on Sunday, there should be a space of at least 1 hour between the services.
Save for Sunday services, other church services during working days should remain postponed, according to the statement.
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Education-Coronavirus update rwanda
All schools (public and private) including universities are closed however remote learning is encouraged
Places of worship are closed
All employees (public and private) shall work from home, except for those providing essential services
Businesses are closed, except distribution and delivery services as well as those selling food, medicine (pharmacies), hygiene and cleaning capacity. Businesses permitted to operate must close by 6 PM
Restaurants and cafes will only provide take away services
The government has set September as a proposed month within which public schools can resume, after many months of closure due to the Covid-19 pandemic. However, a disclaimer from the Prime Minister while appearing before parliament was that the reopening will only be guided by science.
The decision to halt schools was taken by the government on March 14 after confirming the country’s first Covid-19 case. The decision was in a bid to curb further spread of the pandemic.
On May 1, a cabinet meeting resolved that schools shall not reopen before September this year. Due to health measures deployed by the Ministry of Health, there are nearly 3.6 million students who are not in school with experts arguing that prolonged closure of schools could threaten gains made in the education sector.
School closures generally disrupt children’s learning and pose the risk of higher dropout rates for the most vulnerable, including girls and children from poor households, who are less likely to go back to school.
Teachers may be forced to leave the profession in search of other jobs, something that has already happened in some private schools that have been affected by the global epidemic of the Novel Coronavirus.
Petter Brodin, an Associate Professor of Immunology at the Sweden-based Karolinska Institutet says that fundamentally, it is very important to understand that all restrictions to reduce transmission comes with a price.
“Closing schools leads to massive negative consequences both for children and parents, loss of social context, educational loss, and parents unable to work,” he says.
Yet, as the government prepares to allow schools to reopen, there are concerns that the country that is still grappling with the pandemic, could find itself struggling to make the extra investment in dealing with the virus.
At worst, this is because most schools in the country are overcrowded, which could pose high risks of transmission of the virus to students and teachers or even parents.
Last week, for instance, the government of South Africa announced that public schools will close again for a month to limit the spread of the novel coronavirus as the country grapples with surging infections.
Rising infections have caused concern among teaching staff, with unions calling on the government to revoke its decision to reopen schools for certain grades in June.
“Cabinet has decided today that all public schools should take a break for the next four weeks,” President Cyril Ramaphosa said on Thursday during an address to the nation, adding that the academic year that is due to end in December would be extended.
Last week, Members of Parliament also expressed concern over schools reopening in September as Prime Minister Edouard Ngirente addressed them on measures put in place by the government to contain the outbreak.
The question is now whether September is the right time for schools to resume.
Brodin suggests that every country has to figure out what is driving transmission in its specific context.
In Sweden, the transmission has mainly happened within families and at workplaces.
“Schools have been open throughout the pandemic as normal but with the exception that older kids (high school and University) have had distance learning programmes,” he notes.
“This is because the cost of keeping schools closed was deemed too high here. I think this was very good and we’ve not had more numbers of children or teachers with severe than Covid-19 as compared to other countries,” he adds.
Brodin insists that it has been extremely valuable to retain kids in schools, saying that it has made Sweden’s strategy much more sustainable than the lock-down of many other countries.
Edward Kabare, a headteacher at Nyagatare Secondary School in the Eastern Province thinks maintaining physical distancing measures for students will be the hardest task.
“Our smallest classroom has 40 students, but even then I don’t think you can get a one-metre distance. Let’s imagine you are able to do that, how do you tell students to keep physical distancing after school?” he says.
He doubts whether social distancing will particularly be possible for boarding schools like his, especially in accommodation facilities.
“For facemasks, it will be hard to maintain them for kids. If everyone was mature at least it would be easier to see that happening,” he notes.
The new normal
Based on the best medical advice available, schools will be asked to implement public health protocols to keep students and staff safe when they return to school in September.
It is likely that even when schools finally reopen, a school will never look entirely the same before the world witnessed the outbreak. Experts suggest that water and hygiene facilities will be the norm.
Physical distancing measures and the wearing of facemasks are highly recommended, and learning in shifts will be the new normal for most schools.
In Rwanda, the Government started implementing a plan last month that will see 22,505 classrooms completed in all 30 districts of the country by September this year.
The schools will help curb overcrowding and long distances travelled by students going to and returning from schools, according to the Ministry of Education.
According to Salafina Flavia, the Information, Education and Communication Specialist at the Ministry, there is a plan to conduct an awareness campaign at schools that will encourage students to respect health safety measures.
“There has been a lot of awareness from the Ministry of Health, which is guiding our decisions. We are planning the same campaign when schools reopen,” she says.
Kibungo University (UNIK), formerly known as Kibungo Institute of Agriculture, Technology and Education (INATEK), has been permanently shut down on administrative problems that have jeopardized the standard of education provided at the institution.
The decision to close the university based in the Eastern Province was taken by the Ministry of Education, following the Higher Education Council (HEC)’s “comprehensive external review” of the university, and subsequent meetings with both parties.
“Due to the failure of the Institute to comply with joint resolutions, the Ministry of Education regrets informing INATEK management that all academic operations are due to cease effective July 1 , 2020,” reads part of a letter signed by Valentine Uwamariya, Minister of Education.
The Minister has given up to two weeks to submit a report to the Ministry of Education on how a number of steps have been taken, including meeting all academic and financial obligations to students in order to allow alternative entry to other higher learning institutions to begin.
It was also demanded that contractual agreements about the situation and other issues relating to students and staff be settled.
Kibungo University was founded in 2013 and is one of the universities that witnessed the biggest debt of last year, including eight-month salary arrears for staff including lecturers.
In addition, the University leadership said it owes money to Eastern Province residents as well as many government agencies to the tune of Rwf2.5bn.
Prof. Egide Karuranga, the University’s vice-chancellor said these debts emerged because of the large number of shareholders taking money out of university rather than reinvesting it.
However, lecturers accused university administrators of incompetence, adding that any person who heads the institution imposes their leadership style and, if it fails, it affects the university.
In 2004 the university graduated 4,500 students but had fewer than 1,000 students at the end of the last year.
There are over 3 million school leavers in Rwanda after the government has recommended schools close to prevent spread of COVID-19. To keep the children informed, the nation has switched to one of the most available mediums, radio.
UNICEF has recorded over 100 radio scripts worldwide, which can be updated to conform to Rwanda’s school curricula and focused on basic literacy and counting. He then partnered with partners, including the Rwandan Broadcasting Agency, in the creation and air of classes nationwide.
Covid 19 Updates
A new research laboratory for Covid-19 has been built in Rusizi Region, which the Rwanda Biomedical Center (RBC) says will directly help monitor the Covid-19 pandemic in Western Province. “Gihundwe District Hospital Covid-19 testing lab is fully set up and operational,” tweeted on Wednesday, June 24, Dr Sabin Nsanzimana, RBC Director-General. He added: “RBC laboratory technicians have been mobilized to train the local laboratory technicians.”
According to Nsanzimana, the new laboratory conducts 500 tests a day. Establishing this lab follows a series of high numbers of positive cases that have been detected in the district of Rusizi since early June this year.
Highlighting the benefits of the new Covid-19 research facility, Nsanzimana has clarified that it would help the entire western province.
“Evacuation of confirmed Covid-19 patients will now be accelerated, provided that findings from sample testing will be collected at a closer location,” he said.
“The laboratory will also help the entire Western Province in this regard, and the neighboring countries in addition, though this lies in both countries’ understanding,” he added.
Previously, samples would be taken from Rusizi district and carried to Kigali for testing at the National Reference Laboratory, which would prolong the process of identifying and recovering verified patients to assist them accordingly.
The move also fits with the country’s goal of growing its testing ability. The Rwanda Biomedical Center recently reported that Rwanda’s research capacity has increased fifteenfold over the past four months, and has been expanded worldwide.
More efforts to curb the area’s pandemic
As of 24 June Rusizi remains the largest Covid-19 hotspot in Rwanda with a total of 830 confirmed cases.
Five Rusizi sectors are completely lockdown to prevent further spread of this virus in neighboring districts, and travel to and from this district is still prohibited.
Additionally, powerful command posts have been deployed to control the pandemic in that area in all districts neighboring Rusizi, says Nsanzimana.
On Monday 29 June Rwanda announced 101 new positive Covid-19 cases bringing the number of confirmed cases to 1.001 against 443 recoveries.
The new data was gathered from 2,498 sample tests conducted over the last 24 hours.
Among the latest records, 22 are from Kigali, three from Rusizi district, two from Rubavu district, one from Kayonza district and another from Kirehe district, according to the Ministry of Health. The remaining 72 new cases were reported by the Ministry from a detention center in the Ngoma district, and are linked to Rusumo cases.
Since mid-March when the first case was registered in Rwanda, the country has conducted a total of 140,249 sample tests and reported 2 deaths.
A cabinet meeting is set to be held this week to determine whether new policies will be included in the effort to curb the pandemic in the country.
Rwanda’s coronavirus recovery count reached 413 after 15 new patients were discharged from Covid-19 treatment centers on Saturday, June 27, 2012.
According to the daily Covid-19 study by the Ministry of Health, 20 new cases have been identified bringing the number of active cases to 463 in the last twenty-four hours.
Of the new cases fifteen were found in Rusizi, three in Rubavu and two in Kigali.
The most recent results were taken from 4,702 sample samples. Since the pandemic exploded in mid-March Rwanda has conducted 134,749 national studies.
878 cases have been confirmed as positive from these studies, of which 413 have recovered and two people have succumbed to the virus.
The continuing cases reported at Kigali prompted the Ministry of Local Government to impose a full lockdown in six communities in the capital beginning Thursday.
Globally, coronavirus cases have reached 10 million, of which 5.4 million have recovered and nearly a half million have succumbed.
The confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus (Covid-19), diagnosed on Rwandan territory, exceeded the 900-mark after the positive diagnosis of 22 new cases from tests carried out on Sunday, June 28th.
Also on the same day, 30 patients discharged from the Covid-19 treatment centers increased the number of coronavirus recoveries to 443, compared with 455 active cases.
According to Dr Sabin Nsanzimana, the Director-General of the Rwanda Biomedical Center, 21 of those discharged had sought treatment at a hospital in the Rusizi District.
The latest results were derived from 3,002 experimental experiments while the total research carried out before the pandemic started are 137,751.
In a daily report on the pandemic by the Ministry of Health, it was reported that of the new cases: eight were from Rusizi, seven were from Rubavu, six were from the capital Kigali and one from Kirehe district.
Although the cases that increase in Rwanda, the Robert Koch Institute reported last week that due to efforts in the country to contain the virus, Rwanda is no longer a danger zone for Covid-19.
Among the steps in place are mass testing and general initiatives to fight the virus, including daily hand washing, maintaining social distance and wearing facemasks among others.
On Thursday, the local government ministry put six villages in Kigali city under full lockdown after five sectors of the Rusizi district.
Globally, coronavirus cases have reached 10 million, of which 5.5 million have recovered and more than a half million have succumbed.
Police in Kigali City Rwanda detained 17 people for allegedly violating government orders intended to prevent the Coronavirus (Covid-19) novel from spreading. Those arrested included three people who entered Uganda via an illegal entry to the border and two others who had traveled from Rusizi district in Rwanda to Kigali.
All Rwanda borders are closed and no one is permitted to access or access districts of Rusizi and Rubavu that are under complete lockdown, following the increase in cases from the western border districts as per the government directives. Only freight vehicles are permitted to travel to or through these districts and borders.
In addition, on Saturday, 12 other people were arrested for breaking the curfew, with some finding driving while drinking. Others were bars in service and others found drinking in those bars. Vedaste Uwabarengeye, who had traveled from Rusizi to Kigali, said he sneaked off from Rusizi into Nyamasheke District in the wee hours of June 13, where he boarded a vehicle to Kigali.
“I was called by a friend, who told me that there was a job in Musanze District. I managed to get to Nyamasheke unnoticed, but I was arrested on arrival to Kigali before boarding another vehicle to Musanze,” Uwabarengeye said.
Ezra Niyonkuru, who also traveled from Rusizi, was a Kigali taxi motorcycle operator who was in Rusizi when the country was locked in March. On the morning of June 13, a freight truck driver assisted Niyonkuru, who took him and his motorcycle to Huye City.
It is in Huye that Niyonkuru rode his motorcycle to Kigali, where on arrival he was found and arrested. CP spokesman for the RNP, John Bosco Kabera, said those traveling from Rusizi and Uganda were divided. He cautioned against dismantling the guidelines and weakening national anti-pandemic efforts.
“No one is immune to Covid-19, be where you are supposed to be and at the right time. For those in Rusizi and Rubavu, they are required to remain in their respective homes and communities until the government directs otherwise,” CP Kabera said. He advised Rwandans living out of the country to go through the legal border points so as to go through the medical screening for Coronavirus instead of being arrested for illegal cross-border as well as putting their lives and those of others at risk.
The spokesperson also sternly warned those who operate bars in this period, or those who go to drink there, as well as shops that have become bars. In this pandemic period the bars are still closed. He also urged the public to respect the curfew, adding that the time to be at home is 9 p.m. but not to go home.
Rwanda performed more than 3,495 Coronavirus tests on Sunday, June 14, 2020, the maximum to be completed in a day since the COVID-19 pandemic outbreak three months ago. There were 41 positive cases of Coronavirus Covid-19 from those samples, which took the count of confirmed cases in the country to 582.
Dr Sabin Nsanzimana, the Director-General of Rwanda Biomedical Centre noted that “Most of the new cases are household members of previously confirmed Covid-19 positive in Rusizi”, he tweeted. Rusizi has emerged as the new hotspot for the virus, a spike that is attributed to cross-border traders from DR Congo. Kamembe town, in Rusizi, is the largest concentration of cases in the region, has been put under total lockdown.
The total recovery count for Rwanda stands at 332 against 248 active cases while there have been two deaths reported so far. According to the health ministry, the total number of tests conducted since the country reported her first case in March is 91.151. According to Nsanzimana, Rwanda has increased the test potential since the advent of the Rusizi cluster.
“In the last ten days, more than 7,000 tests were carried out in Rusizi district only, because we are carrying out tests door to door,” he told Rwanda Broadcasting Agency.
The Ministry of Health continues to advise increased vigilance, since new cases are still being created by the Rusizi cluster. In two weeks Rusizi had reported 100 cases by Sunday.
According to Rwanda Biomedical Center statistics as of Sunday, June 14, the total confirmed cases in Rwanda were composed of 324 imported cases whereas the remaining 208 were contacts of imported cases.
Rwanda confirmed five new cases of Coronavirus COVID-19 on Tuesday, bringing the tally of infected individuals to 75. The new cases involve four recent Dubai travelers and another touch from a previously reported positive case, “the health ministry announced. In a daily update late Tuesday, officials added that all of the new incidents had been identified.
The development came a day after health authorities said they had recorded no case on Monday, March 30, only the second time this had happened since the country announced its first COVID-19 case on March 13. The health ministry said all the confirmed cases were under treatment and in a stable condition.
“The majority are asymptomatic and no patient is under critical conditions,” the daily update reads in part, adding that tracing of all contacts had been conducted for further management. The ministry called on Rwandans to observe all the measures put in place to prevent further spread of the virus. Rwandan, on March 21, announced a two-week lockdown to enforce social distancing measures.
The nation also closed all its borders and suspended flights to tourists, only keeping freight transport operational. This week, the government launched an initiative to provide free food and critical health items to households that have been listed as the hardest hit in the current crisis.
Globally, more than 826,200 coronavirus cases had been recorded with 40,708 total deaths by Tuesday evening.
On Monday, June 15, 2020, Rwanda reported 30 new Coronavirus Covid-19 cases, bringing the tally of confirmed cases to 612 since mid-March when the country registered her first case. According to the Ministry of Health, the new cases are linked to the Rusizi and Rusumo clusters, as well as repatriated Rwandans. On the same day, six (6) Covid-19 patients were discharged from treatment centres after recovery. The new cames were from 2,908 sample tests conducted over the last 24 hours. In total, the country has carried out 94,059 sample tests of Covid-19 coronavirus and recorded two deaths.
According to Rwanda Biomedical Centre, Rwanda is currently carrying out an assessment that will establish whether the resumption of inter-provincial movements and passenger taxi-moto services have had an impact on the prevalence of Covid-19 in the country.
Dozens of new cases
Rwanda announced 24 new Covid-19 cases on Tuesday, June 16, taking the number of confirmed cases to 636 since mid-March when it registered its first case. New cases belong to the Rusizi cluster, as well as repatriated Rwandans, according to the health ministry. The results were obtained from 2,742 sample tests taken within 24 hours, during which no recovery case was recorded during the time.
Since the end of last week, Rwanda recorded a surge in confirmed cases, compared to previous days. For instance, in just four days, Rwanda reported a total of 129 confirmed cases mainly from Rusizi district in Western Province, part of which has since been placed under total lockdown.
The country reported 41 new cases, most notably on June 14, the highest daily positive cases since March. Rwanda also raised the number of daily sample tests in the same timeframe, however, whereby the average of daily tests taken since June 13 to date is about 2,800, an improvement from the earlier 1,000.
The country has performed 96,801 sample tests in total, and reported 636 confirmed cases of which 338 have recovered and two have succumbed to this pandemic.
The new Mobile Lab unit in Rwanda was scheduled to increase its COVID-19 testing capability and thus reinforce the rapid response to the pandemic. In April 2020, Rwanda received the equipment from the Eastern African Community and the mobile laboratory will make COVID-19 countrywide testing fast.
“This lab will almost double our COVID-19 testing capacity and its mobile nature will facilitate mass testing throughout the country,” says the Director-General of Rwanda Biomedical Centre, Dr Sabin Nsanzimana.
The special designed vans are configured to perform the same task as a laboratory, which is a perfect addition to the the number of samples conducted every day using the 3 research equipment available. Sampling and testing units will be deployed nationwide to all priority districts with suspected COVID-19 Coronavirus cases which will as well reduce on the turnaround time since samples will not be transported to Kigali first.
The mobile laboratory is equipped with test kits and personal protective gear including gloves, gowns, masks, goggles and shoe protectors. The mobile labs will focus on sampling a range of specimens for Polymerase chain reaction (PCR).
His Excellency Paul Kagame, President of Rwanda, praised the COVID-19 Coronavirus Joint Task Force during his visit to the more than 400 professionals from across sectors who worked together to organize activities aimed at stopping COVID-19 spread. “I am here to thank you for your commitment and dedication. You are serving selflessly, even with the knowledge that the work you are doing could have consequences on your health,” said President Kagame during his visit on 12 April 2020.
“I know that you are doing this out of selflessness, love for your country and with professionalism. All of this makes me grateful to each of you,” applauded the President.
The leader promised that the Government of Rwanda will keep doing everything possible to support the Joint Task Force so that Rwandans can return to their normal lives. President Kagame as well as commended the lockdown for helping in preventing COVID-19 spread hence containing the pandemic.
“I have seen all the work that you do and where we stand today in terms of numbers of COVID-19 cases. There is no way we could have made this progress if people did not respect the lockdown,” said the President.
To plan for and respond to the pandemic, the COVID-19 Joint Task Force was formed on March 3, 2020. The Task Force’s day-to-day work includes, among others, identifying likely new cases and following up on confirmed cases daily through contact tracing, risk communication and sensitizing the general population about COVID-19 prevention.
April will be unforgettable for the National Reference Laboratory (NRL) in Rwanda, following the daunting work of checking COVID-19 samples, the accreditation of the International Standards Organization (ISO115189) finally came home on 04 April 2020 after years of hard work towards achieving a high-level recognition.
The accreditation process requires an independent medical laboratory evaluation which includes an analysis of staff qualifications and skills, equipment, reagents, and supplies. Quality control is also among the considerations under consideration. To hatch a plan to achieve all the needed qualifications, NRL a division operating under Rwanda Biomedical Center launched the laboratory accreditation process during an international conference in 2009.
Then Rwanda adopted the WHO AFRO Strengthening Laboratory Management towards Accreditation (SLMTA) program, a process that prepares laboratories for higher accreditation through ranking them from 0-5 stars.
“In the SLMTA program, labs are given projects that included staff capacity building, improving the turn-over time from when samples are brought in for testing to when the results are given to clients and evaluation would be done every after 3 months to assess the improvement,” says Eng Jean Pierre Munana, Acting Director for Quality Assurance and Control Unit at the National Reference Laboratory under RBC.
In January 2010 when Rwanda embarked on the journey to achieve the 5 stars, they made a choice that changed the NRL for good. The achievements include; reducing the turn over time for different laboratory tests, forming a computerized information management system Rwanda National Reference Laboratory Earns High Standard Accreditation hence ensuring client satisfaction and accuracy since their samples are not misplaced or lost, improving staff capacity hence increasing the laboratory capacity, improving sample safety by improved storing measures under the commended temperature, among others. By 2017, RNL had achieved the 5-star SLMTA ranking and was eligible to apply for the ISO115189 accreditation.
To-date the latest accreditation means international recognition for Rwanda, meaning the needs of the clients of the laboratory are met. It is a performance benchmark and gives advantage in marketing. As RNL strives to maintain the high quality, it is their way forward to please the customer and to pay attention to detail in performing specific timely tests. The RNL tests do include quality assurance and diagnostic testing, currently the Coronavirus tests keep RNL busy and the good news is that the NRL has acquired automated testing machines to enhance its COVID-19 Coronavirus testing capability and all results are correct thanks to the improvements.
Rwanda has launched Anti – Epidemic Robots as one of the most recent strategies put in place to boost the fight against COVID-19 at treatment centers. The robots are capable of screening between 50 and 150 people per minute, delivering food and medication The robots are capable of screening between 50 and 150 people per minute, delivering food and medication and patient rooms, capturing data, rooms, capturing data and notifying duty officers of observed abnormalities for prompt response and case management. The new development is expected to increase timeliness and efficiency in the fight against Coronavirus and reduce exposure of health workers to possible Covid-19 infection.
Launched at Kanyinya COVID-19 treatment centre on 19 May 2020, the high-tech robots are a result of a partnership between The Ministry of Health, Ministry of ICT and Innovation and The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Rwanda.
Rwanda Launches Anti-Epidemic Robots to Boost the Fight against COVID-19“We are pleased to partner with different institutions to address the COVID-19 pandemic, in this case using technology to enhance health. These robots will help improve service delivery while protecting our valuable health workers against COVID-19 Coronavirus exposure,” says the Minister of Health, Dr Ngamije M. Daniel.
The Smart Anti-Epidemic Robots called Akazuba, Ikizere, Mwiza, Ngabo and Urumuri will be used primarily in temperature screening, patient status tracking and COVID19 patient medical record keeping. The robots are equipped with numerous advanced features to assist physicians and nurses at the specified treatment centers.
“The infectious nature of COVID-19 calls for technological innovations to tackle the pandemic. This is why Rwanda introduced robots, drones among high-tech initiatives to enhance efficiency in this fight,” says Minister of ICT and Innovation, Paula Ingabire.
During the handover ceremony, Stephen Rodriques UNDP Rwanda Resident Representative said, “Today marks another hot spotlight on innovation in Rwanda and I am very proud that our team is part of that historic moment.”
The high-tech robots were made by Zora Bots, a Belgian company specialized in robotics solutions.
Last year, due to COVID-19, the World Health Conference was held practically for the first time, addressing only critical concerns of the World Health Organization (WHO) to focus on the global pandemic response of COVID-19.
On Monday, May 18, 2020, Rwandan delegation led by Health Minister Dr Daniel Ngamije attended the 73rd World Health Assembly via Video Conference. Minister Ngamije has expressed in his remarks that Rwanda’s priority is primary health care.
“Rwanda considers the Primary Health Care approach as one of the most important vehicles for achieving universal health coverage. Through this approach, Rwanda reinforces a people-centred, integrated and sustainable health care system in order to ensure quality essential health care services as close to the community as possible” Said Minister Ngamije.
Minister Ngamije emphasized the importance of global unity and cooperation to strengthen partnership in exchanging crucial knowledge that will help governments make informed COVID-19 decisions. He also asked the world to call for the COVID-19 wake-up responses and acknowledge that innovation in health sectors is inevitable than ever before.
Rwanda vowed to continue developing a robust health system that would respond to developments, new demands and new stressors like COVID-19, Ebola and other disease emergencies. Dr Daniel Ngamije, the Minister of Health of Rwanda, concluded his remarks by commending the Leadership for its work, commitment and bravery at all levels in the battle against COVID-19 Coronavirus.
The World Health Assembly was a two-day health conference held in Geneva, Switzerland, on 18 – 19 May 2020. The Assembly was graced by Heads of State and Government, and attended by WHO Member States’ Health Ministers, the Director-General of the WHO, the Regional Directors of the six WHO Regions, and senior WHO officials.
Rwanda recorded three (3) new cases of coronavirus in as many days on Wednesday 17 June. That took the countrywide tally of confirmed cases to 639. On the same day, after recovery, nine patients were discharged from treatment centers and the total recovery count increased to 347. All these new cases were drawn from 2,508 sample tests that were run on Wednesday, as per the daily update by the Ministry of Health.
On June 18th, Rwanda still recorded low cases of Coronavirus patients, they were only 7 bringing the total number of cases to 646.
In total, the country has since the first Covid-19 on March 14 taken 99,309 sample tests of the pandemic and among those 639 were detected as positive cases, of whom 347 have since recovered.
Since Rwanda still counts 290 Covid-19 patients in treatment centers, two people have succumbed to the virus to date. In confirmed cases the last week was marked by an upsurge compared to previous days.
Rwanda announced a total of 129 confirmed cases in just four days mainly from the district of Rusizi, the western part of Rwanda, part of which is currently under lockdown.
At a global scale, 8,339,939 people worldwide contracted the virus while 4,363,316 had recovered from the virus. The world reported 448,420 coronavirus-related deaths.
On Thursday 18 June, Germany’s renowned Robert Koch Institute reported that it is no longer considering Rwanda as a danger area for Covid-19 because of the country’s recent containment measures against the virus. The announcement came after the country in the last four days had not been listed on the list of Covid-19 danger areas of the institute. This makes Rwanda the only country in the region that has not featured on the list.
On the same list, there are 136 high risk Covid-19 territories, 29 of which are states in the USA. The Robert Koch Institute (RKI) is the central science institution in the biomedicine sector in Germany. The institute is one of the country’s most important bodies for ensuring public health, especially during the coronavirus period. According to a statement released by the RKI, the research informs the Federal Government on the decision to take in regard to incoming travellers.
For example, it is mandatory that all international travel to Germany and have been in a danger area within the previous 14 days (2 weeks) are subject to quarantine regulations by the federal states responsible.
This spells good news to the people of Rwanda, according to Dr Daniel Ngamije, Minister of Health posted on his Twitter page while he commented on the development.
“Rwanda is a secured place to go as far as Covid19 is concerned. Got the message from German Ambassador Dr Thomas Kurz,” the Minister said in a Tweet.
The classification as a risk area is based on joint analysis and the decision for construction and home by the German Federal Ministry of Health, the Federal Foreign Office and the Federal Ministry of the Interior according to the Institute.
The statement indicates that classifying a risk area is based on a two-stage assessment.
100,000 Covid-19 tests
The first step is determined in areas over the past seven days that have recorded more than 50 newly infected persons per 100,000 inhabitants.
Thus for the second phase, qualitative parameters are used to assess if countries / regions nominally below the defined limit are still at risk of increased risk of infection.
Results for the evaluation are in particular the number of infections and the type of outbreak (locally limited or area-wide), test capacities as well as tests carried out per inhabitant as well as measures taken in the states to contain the infection process (hygiene regulations, contact tracking etc.)
The announcement comes on the same day Rwanda surpassed 100, 000 tests for coronavirus, according to Dr. Sabin Nsanzimana, Director General at Rwanda Biomedical Center (RBC).
“Today, National Reference Lab has surpassed 100,000 Coronavirus Covid-19 and confirmed 646 positive cases,” he added.
According to Nsanzimana, Rwanda’s testing capacity increased 15 fold in 4 months and has been scaled up across the country.
However, the Institute also takes into account when there is no reliable information for certain countries, such as test capacities and tests per inhabitant, as well as measures taken to contain the process of infection (hygiene regulations, contact tracking etc.).
“There may be short term changes, especially an expansion of this list. Please check immediately before starting your trip whether you have been in one of these areas within the last 14 days before entering Germany. In these cases, you have to expect an obligation to separate,” the statement reads in part.
In other cases, the country has installed a regional Covid-19 command post that co-ordinates all frontline pandemic fighting activities.
Likewise, last month the country introduced the use of robotics in the battle against Covid-19, in a move aimed at growing physician-patient contacts.
The public is also urged to observe safety initiatives that have been placed in place including, among others, wearing a face mask, maintaining a one-meter gap when in public.
As of 19 June 2020, 646 cases of coronavirus were reported in Rwanda, with 350 patients discharged while two patients were killed.
On Friday, June 19, Rwanda confirmed 15 new cases of Covid-19, which are related to the Rusizi and Rusumo clusters according to the Ministry of Health. “New cases caused by the clusters Rusizi and Rusumo,” the Rwandan Ministry of Health noted in its daily update to Covid-19.
The two areas have been the leading hotspots of Covid-19 in Rwanda for the past couple of weeks, and most of these patients are cross-border traders and truck-drivers.
Upon complete recovery, one Covid-19 patient was released the same day. The latest results were obtained from 3,033 sample tests, showing a continuous increase in the number of tests performed in a single day by the country.
Earlier, the Director-General of Rwanda Biomedical Centre, Dr Sabin Nsanzimana had said that Rwanda’s testing capacity has increased 15 fold in the past four months and has been scaled up across the country.
So far the country has performed 104,889 sample tests in total. Since mid-March Rwanda has confirmed 661 cases of Covid-19 Coronavirus, 351 of which have been recovered. Two people in the world have so far succumbed to this pandemic.
On June 18, renowned Robert Koch Institute announced that it is no longer considering Rwanda as a Covid-19 risk area, owing to the country’s recent containment measures against the virus.
Rwanda announced 41 new Covid-19 cases on Saturday, June 20, taking the number of confirmed cases up to 702. The latest total number of new infections was the highest number of regular cases reported by Rwanda since the novel coronavirus broke out.
According to the Ministry of Health Rwanda, the new infections are linked to the Rusizi and Rusumo clusters. “New cases driven by the Rusizi and Rusumo clusters,” the Ministry noted in its Covid-19 Coronavirus daily update.
The two areas have been the leading hotspots of Covid-19 in Rwanda for the past couple of weeks, and most of these patients are cross-border traders and truck-drivers.
On the same day, after recovery 6 Covid-19 patients were discharged. It obtained the latest results from 3,116 sample tests. The country has conducted 108,005 sample tests since mid-March, when Rwanda announced her first Covid-19 case.
So far, 357 people recovered from Coronavirus in Rwanda and two people succumbed to this pandemic.
While the reported cases in Rwanda are rising daily, the renowned Robert Koch Institute announced on June 18 that it is no longer considering Rwanda as a danger area for Covid-19 because of the country ‘s recent containment measures against the virus.
The government has increased its testing capacity since the outbreak of this pandemic in Rwanda, and according to the Rwanda Biomedical Center, Rwanda’s testing capacity has increased fifteen fold over the past four months and has been extended throughout the world.
Rwanda registered 26 new Covid-19 cases on Sunday 21 June, taking the number of active cases to 367 against 359 recoveries. In a daily report from the Ministry of Health Rwanda on the pandemic, it was reported that of the new cases; 18 were identified in the district of Rusizi, two in Rusumo, and six were found in Kigali.
The Ministry also noted that the new cases include those detected from the community. The latest update was obtained from 3,252 sample tests. In total, the country has since mid-March conducted 111,257 sample tests. For the past few weeks, Rusizi and Rusumo have been the leading hotspots of new Covid-19 coronavirus infections.
The government has improved its testing capacity since the outbreak of this coronavirus pandemic in Rwanda, and according to the Rwanda Biomedical Center, Rwanda’s testing capacity has risen fifteenfold over the past four months and has been extended throughout the world.
Rwanda has recorded two Covid-19 deaths so far. While the reported cases in Rwanda are rising daily, the renowned Robert Koch Institute announced on June 18 that it is no longer considering Rwanda as a danger area for Covid-19 because of the country ‘s recent containment measures against the virus.
Rwanda’s government has called for high public vigilance, especially in the City of Kigali, following a positive coronavirus test by two taxi motorcycle operators in Kigali on Sunday, June 21.
Speaking to state radio on Monday morning, Dr Sabin Nsanzimana, the Director-General of Rwanda Biomedical Centre (RBC), revealed that the two were sampled from ongoing mass testing that is targeting all taxi moto operators in the city. “They were discovered through the ongoing mass testing of taxi moto operators, which we have been conducting for the past five days,” Nsanzimana said.
The two were among the 26 new cases diagnosed from 3,252 coronavirus tests conducted on Sunday, June 21, and six of these were found in Kigali.
According to Nsanzimana, the other four infections are linked with a previous outbreak, in addition to the new cases found in taxi-moto operators, and are connected to Rusizi cluster one of the country’s leading virus hotspots.
Being the latest business to be given green light, Nsanzimana pointed out that motorcycle operators have the ability to contain the virus before it can spread among the public, given the current situation.
Taxi motorcycle operators were prevented from carrying passengers on March 21 in a bid to reduce the possible risk of coronavirus spreading but, following government resolutions, passenger taxi motorcycle services were permitted to resume operations on June 2.
Following the decision, however, fears have emerged that both the riders and passengers of taxi motos could be at high risk of spreading the virus. “Taxi moto operators and the commuters using this mode of transport must observe the preventive measures put in place in order to contain the virus,” he said.
The containment measures put in place include mass testing of taxi motorcycle operators, and the removal of helmet screens for passengers by all taxi moto operators is mandatory.
Moto operators are also asked to use a hand sanitizer to clean the helmet before carrying a passenger, whereas passengers should wear a cloth to cover their head before using a helmet.
On the other hand, Nsanzimana pointed out that, “It is still too early to tell where the new infections originated from, but we suspect that they could be related to the four other infected people (in Kigali).”
But before we can find that out, he said, “We strongly advise the public to adhere to preventive steps, particularly those using taxi bikes, since most people are asymptomatic, you can hardly know the status of those in your vicinity.”
Additionally, Nsanzimana said, “We are collecting available information, as we continue with the mass testing we are sure that it is possible to find new infections”
Rwanda Coronavirus Update 22 JuneApart from the districts of Rusizi and Kirehe, which were the leading hotspots of the new cases of coronavirus, we normally follow up on each province to ensure no new population infections are present, Nsanzimana said.
Although Rusizi has been placed on lockdown and traffic to and from the area is only accessible to cargo transportation, Kirehe remains open and according to Nsanzimana, Kirehe was not out on lockdown since all the cases diagnosed in the area to date were from truck drivers. This is unlike in Rusizi, where there are community infections, he added.
“Today more people are travelling, across the country, which means that the pandemic is likely to spread more, but it is incumbent upon every individual to observe the measures in an effort to contain this virus.”
He added that “it is possible that we are going to live with this pandemic for slightly more than the time we predicted. Which means that we are supposed to learn how to live with it so that we don’t suffer the consequences such as losing more people.”
Other measures include urging all traders to accept digital payments as an alternative form of payment.
Citizens are also advised to continue the discipline of washing hands regularly, practicing self-distancing, wearing face masks while in public, and including cashless payments.
Rwanda has so far recorded 728 cases of coronavirus, of which 359 have since fully recovered. The country has also lost two citizens due to the virus.
The 2020 Rwanda International Trade Fair, Expo2020, has been postponed to December 11-31 due to Covid-19 pandemic. It was expected to take place from July 21-August 10. The 23rd Trade Fair has been postponed due to the fact that Covid-19 pandemic has disrupted the movement of international exhibitors.
Rwanda Private Sector Federation, the organizers of the exhibition, announced the postponement on Thursday, June 18.
According to Eric Kabera who is in charge of Public Relations at the Federation, it is expected that by December countries will have opened borders and movements. “We have discussed with our exhibitors from different countries and have agreed that by December, commercial activities, as well as movements, will be resumed in many countries,” he said.
So far, 80 per cent of expected exhibitors have registered. Of the 500 expected exhibitors, 400 from 25 countries across the globe have registered. Registration is still open.
Covid-19 Precautionary Measures
Speaking to the press, Kabera said that the federation is discussing how expo operations can be adjusted to Coronavirus Covid-19 precautionary measures. “We started using cashless payments to pay entry fees in the last few years but we will enforce it as the only means of payment this time. We are also discussing how physical distance will be enforced,” he explained.
So far, the expo ground where the Trade Fair takes place is ready. The number of exhibitors is expected to raise and exceed 500, from 496 exhibitors in 2019, given that there is additional time for exhibitors to prepare and register.
Rwanda International Trade Fair 2019 attracted 329,178 visitors. Kabera says the Federation expects more visitors in 2020 since there is more time to prepare.
Coronavirus deaths continue to grow across the world, having already risen by Thursday to over 8.5 million. Economies plunge into recession. And now there are mass demonstrations from around the world against racial inequity and social inequality.
It’s tempting to draw a parallel with one of the classic science fiction films in which the earth was about to crash and the heroic hero who was sadly typically male will have to find a way to safely move the survivors to another planet to start all over again.
Fortunately, our world is now transforming rather than ending and current leaders of all types and genders do not have to start completely from scratch in the “New Normal” beyond Corona, which is likely to begin next year.
In fact, there are many existing theories and practices that might be applicable in future from the Western concept of Authentic Leadership to the Zulu concept of “Sawubona” (relating to “Mutual Respect”) to the Rwandan concept of “Umuganda” (Community Cooperation and Service).
And the “New Standard” should offer a once-in-a-generation opportunity for leaders to draw on these ideas and traditions and then envision, build and form a different kind of relationship with those around them, be they subordinates, colleagues, supervisors, clients , suppliers, communities or society at large.
One of the key requirements for this new way of leading will be Trust. “Leaders now need to create and develop a culture of deep trust for those who depend on them”, says a senior leadership development professional at a large Rwandan bank.
Before looking at how to build this culture of “deep trust”, we must recognize and clarify what trust is and isn’t:
Trust is not the opposite of mistrust (often based on feeling) or distrust (based on experience). Trust is the opposite of control;
Trust is not universal. It is contextual, cultural and related to the circumstances of those involved;
Trust is not communal. Even though it may exist within a team or a group or an organization, it depends on the specific perceptions and relationships of each individual with each other within that entity;
Trust is not uniform. There can be different levels of trust between these individuals;
Trust is not perpetual. It can be stretched, bent or broken at any time by such things as misunderstandings, gossip or blame;
Trust is not possible to reinstate quickly if broken. It can be rebuilt but it can take a lot of time;
Trust is not something that leaders can mandate for themselves. It has to be earned.
Rwanda Coronavirus Updates 19th June taking all of this into account, leaders don’t need to reinvent the wheel. All they need to do is to ensure that everyone – including themselves – understands, accepts and fully demonstrates the following “Four C’s”:
Be respectful and curious; connect frankly, openly and transparently with others; combine utter honesty with discretion; do what you say when you pledge it; demonstrate dignity and be accountable; own mistakes and take responsibility for failures; avoid gossip or victimization; show genuine empathy and consideration for yourself and others.
Take the time to really get to know others, not just as colleagues but as human beings; include and engage with everyone, particularly those who seem to be very different from you; share life and work stories; create mutual familiarity, comfort, respect and safety; avoid gossip and give everyone the benefit of the doubt; always honor professional and personal boundaries, such as family life; friendship and camaraderie are nice but optional; collegiality and graciousness are not optional.
Make sure you and others have the time, tools and resources to be successful; know your strengths and limitations and recognize those in others; be good at what you are expected to do and get the results that are expected of you; build on triumphs and learn from mistakes and failures; ask for constructive feedback, pushback, help and guidance; stretch yourself and empower others but don’t go too far, too fast; follow a conscious path of continuous improvement.
Co-create a set of clear, common values, purpose, vision, mission and realistic goals; make them a living code to work by; check in frequently to see if they are still valid or need tweaking; focus on not just what you are all doing but how you are doing it; co-create an explicit, detailed team charter for how to communicate, make decisions, challenge decisions, solve problems and resolve conflict with each other, especially when one of these four C’s is violated.
There is clearly no guarantee of lasting success but if leaders follow these guidelines consciously and conscientiously, there should be a lot more engagement, productivity and satisfaction in the “New Normal”.
The Minister of Infrastructure Claver Gatete has said that cross border trade is progressing well, despite the measures in place to contain the Covid-19 pandemic. “Trade is going well. In 24 hours, we receive between 400 and 500 cross border trucks at Rusumo border. Sometimes they are more. At Kagitumba, it is between 45 and 60 while at Cyanika, they are between 9 and 15.”
Rusumo is Rwanda’s gateway to Tanzania on the Central Corridor while Kagitumba and Cyanika link Rwanda to Uganda and serves as the gateway to the port of Mombasa in Kenya, through the Northern Corridor.
Gatete revealed this at a news conference held in Kigali on Friday, to provide an update on the movement of goods across borders. The country’s borders are currently closed, and only freight trucks and returning Rwandans and people are allowed into the country.
More than 1,000 trucks bound for Rwanda were stranded at the Tanzanian border town of Benako in May, after some Tanzanian truck drivers protested Rwanda’s requirement to follow a relay system that would turn over their trucks to Rwandan drivers.
It was resolved after it was decided that, among other agreements, goods bound for Rwanda will be offloaded at border points with the exception of perishable goods and petroleum products which would be escorted to their final destinations at no expense.
Gatete said that all this was put in place, with a primary objective of minimizing the spread of coronavirus.
The restoration of normalcy at the borders was confirmed by the Chairman of the Private Sector Federation (PSF), Robert Bapfakurera that although not at full capacity, business generally has been going well. “Where we are from to where we are now, things are fine.
“We are going to work with hotels, some of which are still closed because their business mainly depends on tourism. Some tourists come from other countries, but now all borders are closed,” he said.
Bapfakurera added that the government is doing what is possible to reopen borders, but with some guidelines.
As of June 18, there were 646 Covid-19 cases in Rwanda, with 294 active cases, and 350 recoveries. There were 2 fatalities. Most cases come from Rusumo and Rusizi, bordering respectively Tanzania and DR Congo.
Gatete and Bapfakurera both agree that for Covid-19 to be defeated, collective efforts are needed by all countries to prevent the pandemic.
On 14 June 2020, more than 300,000 items of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and medical supplies were received from H.H. Sheik Mohammed bin Rashid A1 Maktoum, United Arab Emirates vice-president and prime minister and ruler of Dubai, and his wife H.H. Sheik Hind bint Maktoum bin Junta A1 Maktoum (a ruling family of the United Arab Emirates ( UAE). DP World and One&Only hotels in Rwanda assisted with the logistics of the delivery of these items from Dubai. “His Highness Sheikh Mohammed and the First Lady. Sheikha Hind, are determined to do their bit to support the people of Rwanda during this difficult time. They are very focused on extending their assistance and friendship to help others battling this awful pandemic,” said H.E. Mohammed Al Shaihani. Executive Director and CEO of the Investment Corporation of Dubai (ICD) and Chairman of the Board that manages One & Only hotels.
During an interview about the adequacy of anti- Coronavirus COVID-19 equipment in the country, Nsanzimana said that the country does not have a shortage, thanks to a couple of reasons for instance not having many complicated cases. “We are happy to continue to upgrade our capacity. But the thing is, let us prevent it (Covid-19) and not have more cases because treatment is the last option. If we can prevent, this is the main thing,” he said.
Speaking on the behalf of Dubai, Sumeet Bhardwaj the Chief Executive Officer of Dubai Port World (DP World) Kigali said, “I see this as a sign of even stronger friendship between the UAE and Rwanda, and on a personal note I am grateful to his Highness Sheikh Muhammed (the Prime Minister of the UAE) along with his wife Sheikha Hind who have extended this generous support to all of us Rwandans.” DP World and One and Only Hotels in Rwanda assisted with the logistics of the delivery of the items from Dubai to Rwanda.
Bonita Mutoni the Sales and Marketing Manager of One and Only Resorts Rwanda told media that their assistance towards the logistics of the delivery of the equipment from Dubai is aimed at supporting Rwanda to be safe again for its citizens and tourists who want to come in from outside “We have Rwandans working at the property (One and Only), we are also a key partner with Rwanda Development Board bringing tourists to the destination. So we have got to make sure that the destination is safe for tourists to start to return to Rwanda,” she said.
Rwanda announced 31 new cases confirmed by Covid-19 on Saturday, June 13-the highest since mid-March, when the country registered its first case. On the same day after rehabilitation, 11 patients were released from treatment centres. The results were from 2,043 tests of the samples. In a statement, the Ministry of Health noted that “Rusizi cluster and Rusumo continue to drive new cases” hence urging “heightened vigilance everywhere”.
As part of its response to the Coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic crisis around the world, the Government of Rwanda on 13th June donated testing medical kits to the peacekeeping United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) as part of its response to the Covid-19 pandemic. This is part of the earlier promised 200 test kits and personal protective equipment (PPE’s) to the mission in support of international efforts to contain the spread of the virus.
Brig Gen Eugene Nkubito, who represented Rwanda said:” The medical kits will contribute to mass testing and sampling for Coronavirus COVID-19 within peacekeepers in UNMISS. He said, “COVID-19 is a common enemy to mankind, and cooperation is the way to defeat the pandemic”.
The donation of medical kits to UNMISS comes after Rwanda has taken steps to test and sample COVID-19 among it’s UNMISS peacekeepers including the military, police and collection services.
Over 100 test kits were handed over to UNMISS officials in Juba which were airlifted by RwandAir to Juba International Airport. This helps to improve the ability of the program to test and treat workers, and the remaining test kits are to be delivered early. Brig Gen Eugene Nkubito, Rwanda’s Senior Representative in UNMISS and Juba Sector Commander, handed over the medical kits to John Sengui Barber and Lt Col Su KHAN on behalf of UNMISS.
Nkubito said the medical kits will contribute to mass testing and sampling for COVID-19 within peacekeepers in UNMISS. He said, “Covid-19 is a common enemy to mankind, and cooperation is the way to defeat the pandemic”. Barber, the medical representative of UNMISS thanked the Government of Rwanda for the support saying that it will significantly improve UNMISS capacity to fight against Covid-19. “These kits are definitely augmenting our speed in testing staff,” said Barber.
The donation comes after Rwanda has taken steps to check and sample Covid-19 under UNMISS to Rwandan peacekeepers including the military, police and correction services. Last week 1400 peacekeepers were screened. In other missions where Rwandan peacekeepers are deployed this activity will continue.
Rwanda is one of the top five countries contributing to international peacekeeping efforts by UN forces and the police. The Rwandan army retains 5,860 personnel in peacekeeping missions including soldiers, staff officers, military observers, and liaison officers. The Rwanda National Police (RNP) which started peacekeeping deployments in 2005 has about 1,200 officers serving as peacekeepers in different countries.
On Saturday, June 13, Rwanda reported 31 new confirmed cases of Coronavirus-COVID-19- the highest since mid-March when the country registered its first case. On the same day after rehabilitation, 11 patients were released from treatment centres. The results were from 2,043 tests of the samples. In a statement, the Ministry of Health noted that “Rusizi cluster and Rusumo continue to drive new cases” hence urging “heightened vigilance everywhere”.
Since the beginning of June, the country has seen an increase in the number of positive cases, and has placed two border districts Rusizi and Rubavu bordering the Democratic Republic of Congo under total lockdown, even as the rest of the country is slowly returning to normal life. Rwanda has earned its people stranded in other countries, and all returnees undergo a mandatory 14-day quarantine.
Although the landlocked country has placed a national lockdown to prevent coronavirus spread, it is permitted to cross the border with goods and cargoes. Cross-border truck drivers, in particular those from Tanzania and Kenya, the key import networks in Rwanda, posed a threat to the neighboring countries’ anti-epidemic war, local media said.
Before the latest report, there were 89 total confirmed cases in Rusizi district, which is currently under lockdown. Rwanda has reported 541 Covid-19 confirmed cases since the outbreak, of which 332 have recovered, with a total of 87,656 sample tests performed so far. Two deaths from the novel coronavirus were reported in the region.
According to statistics by Rwanda Biomedical Center, as of Friday, June 12 Rwanda’s total confirmed cases were composed of 320 imported ones whereas the remaining 190 were contacts of imported cases.
Rwanda’s coronavirus cases rose to 510 after 16 cases were registered in the country on Friday, June 12, according to the Ministry of Health’s latest report. The new cases relate to the Rusizi cluster and repatriated Rwandans according to the daily Covid-19 report from the Ministry. Rusizi District has been the latest hotspot for coronavirus, which was first traced in cross-border traders a few days ago.
Subsequently, the government imposed a lockdown on sectors that make up the town of Kamembe, which borders the DR Congo, on instruction from the Ministry of Health. As part of the effort to curtail Covid-19 cases in the region, Nkombo Island on Lake Kivu was also put into lockdown on top of Kamembe. According to the ministry, the latest cases have been isolated and contacts traced. The status report indicates that eight patients were discharged after full recovery in the past 24 hours.
Since the Covid-19 outbreak in Rwanda, Rwanda has performed 85,613 Coronavirus studies, but only 0.6 per cent of these studies have been positive.
As of March this year, two deaths have been reported since the first case was registered.
There are 7,673,976 cases of COVID-19 in the world now and 426,080 people have been infected by the virus so far.
MOH Rwanda Confirmed over 80 Covid-19 cases confirmed in Rusizi
Rwanda’s Coronavirus COVID-19 Cases Rise to 500 The Ministry of Health on Friday, June 12 announced 89 confirmed cases of Covid-19 in the western province of Rusizi district so far.
The district is currently under lockdown, with restricted movements with neighbouring districts due to an increase in community cases that are continuously being detected in some sectors of the district. These sectors are Nyakarenzo, Mururu, Kamembe, a part of Gihundwe and Nkombo
RBA’s Minister of Health Dr Daniel Ngamije clarified in an interview with the public broadcaster that putting Rusizi under lockdown is an correct decision. “We have recorded 89 cases in the district of Rusizi, so far. While this is not a small amount, if the district was not under lockout, it would have been much worse, “he said.
Commenting on why Nkombo Island was recently added to other Rusizi sectors under total lockdown, Ngamije noted that “We detected Covid-19 cases in that area, which are mostly traders that could spread it to other parts of that district.” Nkombo Sector is home to 8,000 people, most of whom rely on fishing.
Rwanda’s Coronavirus COVID-19 Cases Increase to 500 At a recent cabinet meeting which expanded the Covid-19 containment measures, the Rubavu district remained under lockdown with restricted movement to other districts of the country.
Highlighting the condition of the pandemic in this district, Ngamije noted that residents of Rubavu are observing preventive measures. “We want to thank residents of Rubavu district who are observing precautionary measures. As a result, we are no longer detecting community Covid-19 cases in this district,” he said.
Of the 18 cases confirmed by Rwanda on Thursday 11 June, four were from the district of Rubavu. According to Ngamije, those patients were cross-border traders who were isolated and screened upon arrival.
So far Rwanda has 510 confirmed Covid-19 cases, 321 of which have recovered. The country has only reported two deaths since the pandemic broke out in mid-March.
On Thursday 11 June, the Rwanda Biomedical Center (RBC) launched a project that aims to equip community health workers with digital technologies and data resources to promote COVID-19 response and prevention. This project, worth Rwf 223 million, is co-funded by the French Agency for AIDS and Viral Hepatitis Research (ANRS) and by the French Embassy.
Two other French research institutes, namely Institut Pasteur and INSERM, will participate in the implementation and evaluation of the project. RBC said the project would encourage broader and faster case identification, help tracking contacts, support social recovery reintegration and ensure a connection between Rwanda’s population and health care system.
The project is an outcome of a collaboration between the Medical Research Unit from RBC and the Nancy Center for Clinical Investigation based in France, according to the French Embassy.
The project will be piloted around the country in four districts: two at Kigali, as well as the Gicumbi and Nyamasheke districts. This will see 400 community health workers equipped with a mobile app that allows for greater and faster identification of cases, especially in rural areas.
Over three months, the mobile app is expected to strengthen the surveillance of pandemic and patient care. After assessment from the Health Ministry, the technology will be rolled out across the country.
The use of emerging technologies in Rwanda’s health care system has been on the rise since the epidemic broke out. This initiative contributes to the use of robots, drones, data modules and other emerging innovations currently being used against Covid-19 in the national strategy.
The project planners said that it will rely on the community-based health practitioners’ network whose position in primary health care is remarkable. They are also identified as health heroes with their Ebola experience, who can play an unchallenged role in controlling and preventing the pandemic.
Jeremie Blin, the Chargé d’ Affaires of France to Rwanda said in a statement the project will strengthen cooperation between both countries, especially in the health field as the entire world grapples with unprecedented effects of the virus.
He added that the health sector is one of the French Embassy’s bilateral priorities in Rwanda, with regard to the signing this year of a memorandum of understanding between the French Institute of Health and Medical Research (INSERM) and the Rwandan Ministry of Health.
Under the peacekeeping body, the UN-Police Women Network; Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) held a memorial service on Tuesday in memory of the passing Police Constable (PC) Enid Mbabazi. A member of the Rwanda Formed Police Unit-One (FPU-1) group of 240 police officers stationed in Malakal, Mbabazi was 24 years old.She succumbed to Coronavirus-COVID-19 on June 2, at the King Faisal Hospital after she was evacuated back home for further treatment.
The virtual memorial function was held across all UNMISS field offices where Mbabazi ‘s friendly character was lauded by fellow UN Police peacekeepers; how she touched hearts of everyone she encountered or worked with, and condoled with her country and family.
Orowo Regina Omuyeh from Nigeria, the chair lady of UNMISS-UN Police Women network said that as they mourn for Mbabazi, they should also exhibit the spirit of teamwork to support fellow UNPOL women to overcome unique challenges female officer encounter every day to give peace to fellow women in South Sudan. “We should work and support each other as women on the frontline because we face exceptional challenges as women, as mothers who left behind our families… our children behind to bring people to fellow women in South Sudan,” Orowo said.
Eileen Jane Pickering from Fiji, UNMISS’ FPU Gender Focal Person Coordinator, said: “Our thoughts and prayers are all with you to the people of Rwanda, the Rwandan Police and the young family of Enid.” Pickering, who spoke with sorrow, said PC Mbabazi left an irreplaceable effect on the women of South Sudan and fellow female officers.
UNMISS Police Commissioner Unamisi Vuniwaqa said Mbabazi was a committed Rwandan contingent officer who worked well in the course of her duty tour. Vuniwaqa clarified the everyday threats faced by the peacekeepers worldwide to fellow police officers who were in a somber mood.
“I urge you all to remain strong, resilient and united as we serve the people of South Sudan. Take care of each other as sisters in the UN family. In moments like this, we come together as one to show the families and the world how much we care for each other as female officers in uniform,” Madam Vuniwaqa said. Quoting from a Bible verse Matthew 5:9, Vuniwaqa said: “Blessed are the peacemakers for they shall be called the children of God. As we pay tribute to her life, we must look at the bigger picture that we as UNPOL carry the symbol of peace for the community that needs it most.”
She encouraged them to see this as a challenge to remain focused, to inspire and to tap each other. “It’s not about men and women; it’s about how we can persevere, how we push and channel our strength as we keep going forward in this highest standing and selfless calling,” Vuniwaqa stressed.
Coronavirus- Covid-19: Rwanda as a Post COVID-19 Travel Destination
Also known as the Land of a thousand hills, Rwanda has plenty to give to travelers interested in Rwanda safaris, Rwanda gorilla safaris, chimpanzee trekking safaris, Rwanda wildlife safaris or even city tours. Most Rwandan tour travelers are interested in different activities; some may be interested in just a Kigali city tour due to time, others may be interested in Rwanda gorilla trekking safaris, Rwanda wildlife safaris, Rwanda chimpanzee trekking tours, Rwanda cycling safaris, Rwanda historic tours, while others may need advice on how to experience a Rwanda safari tour during their Rwanda safari.
Rwanda on 14th March 2020, through its Ministry of Health, reported the country’s first case of COVID-19. The patient was an Indian citizen, a male who arrived from Mumbai, India on 08 March 2020. However, the patient had no symptoms upon arrival in Rwanda. He reported himself to a health facility on 13 March, where he was immediately tested and the results were positive. He is currently under treatment in stable conditions, isolated from other patients. This is the second case in East Africa after Kenya recorded the first case on Friday.
President Paul Kagame; on Saturday 14 March 2020 the President of the Republic of Rwanda advised Rwanda to remain calm and focus on simple but effective measures that are key to keeping each other and everyone safe. “With the COVID19 pandemic facing the world, 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, through solidarity and working together we will overcome these difficult times. It will take the patience that Rwandans have always shown in meeting problems and achieving good results. “The Head of State thanked the World Health Organization (WHO) Director-General and his team for their leadership in these challenging times.
As the COVID-19 outbreak has been declared a public health emergency of international concern, WHO has provided technical and material support to countries in Africa including planning, surveillance, laboratory capability and risk communication and community participation. WHO has provided national laboratories with test kits, as well as laboratory technicians with training. 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 handwashing 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.
A brief About Rwanda
Rwanda, the land of a thousand hills, was ranked among the top safari destinations in Africa to be traveling to in 2020 and among the top 30 worldwide by a list, Travel Lemming, which identifies trend destinations. Travel Lemming is a travel blog founded by Nate Hake, an American who has been on full-time travel around the world since 2016. The aim of the platform is to help highlight new and underappreciated destinations as a way of countering overtourism. This week, the annual awards have been published on the Travel Lemming website which promotes emerging destinations around the world as a solution to over-tourism. It is renowned for being home to the Rwandan Mountain Gorillas that habit Volcanoes National Park. Tourists have travelled to visit these mountain gorillas in the wild by booking gorilla trekking safaris in Rwanda during their Africa tours. For a long time Rwanda has been one of the top bucket lists of destinations visited by safari tour travelers from Africa. While most tourists go there for Rwanda gorilla safaris, Rwanda chimpanzee safaris, Rwanda wildlife safari tours, Rwanda birding safaris, Rwanda hiking safaris, and city tours in Rwanda, there are plenty of other cultural heritage sites and experiences that tourists have not yet experienced.
What is Coronavirus? Coronavirus is a virus/germ that causes is an infectious disease called COVID-19.
‘CO’ stands for corona, ‘VI’ for virus, and ‘D’ for disease. COVID-19 thus means Coronavirus disease 2019. In the world of pathology, Coronavirus (COVID-19) is not a new virus on the scene, but rather a new strain that is part of the larger family of coronaviruses that have existed for quite some time, such as MERS (Middle East Respiratory Syndrome) and SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome). However, this new strain of Corona Virus seems to be more serial than the former 2 combined given the number of causalities it has claimed in its wake.
A pandemic is a global disease outbreak; it usually affects a large number of people. The classical definition includes nothing about population immunity, virology or disease severity. By this definition, pandemics can be said to occur annually in each of the temperate southern and northern hemispheres, given that seasonal epidemics cross international boundaries and affect a large number of people. However, seasonal epidemics are not considered pandemics. The COVID-19 that began as an epidemic in China has now become a pandemic. There are many examples pandemics in history, the most recent being the COVID-19 pandemic declared as such on 12 March 2020 by the World Health Organization.
Many people all over the world wonder: – How Did Coronavirus begin? Is Coronavirus man made? Is corona virus a bio weapon? Where did corona virus start from? Where did corona virus come from? What is the history of Coronavirus? Well, it is believed that the coronavirus originated or begun in the Chinese city of Wuhan in Hubei province. The virus is thought to have originated from the seafood market and is thought to have spread from the live animals sold here to humans. Evidence indicates that coronavirus is a naturally occurring virus which was not created or modified by humans in any way.
Scientists have discovered that this Coronavirus mutates much like every other virus out there. Nevertheless, the rate of mutation of this virus gradually does not pose a significant stalemate in efforts to develop a vaccine for this virus.
What do you feel when you contract Coronavirus? −Symptoms of coronavirus do not vary from common flu (influenza) or cold. Therefore testing is important to confirm whether anyone has COVID-19 or the common cold. The typical Coronavirus symptoms are fever, exhaustion, coughing, and shortness of breath. The virus can also cause aches and pains, sore throat, diarrhoea, conjunctivitis, loss of taste or smell, headache, skin rash and finger or toe discoloration. The more severe signs of the Coronavirus include chest pain or pressure, and loss of speech or movement.
Health experts believe those with poor immune systems are the one with the highest chance of getting Coronavirus. Older people and people with chronic medical conditions, such as diabetes and heart disease, tend to be at higher risk for extreme symptom growth. There is no guarantee however that those with a strong immune system will not contract the virus.
As mentioned above, people infected with Coronavirus tend to experience or develop certain signs and symptoms, such as weakness, fever, cough and shortness of breath. Those symptoms develop as the immune system of your body responds to the infection. When the aggressive invader (virus) is detected by the immune system it releases the chemicals called cytokines. This chemical serves as a warning to the rest of the body that something is wrong and in effect causes you to feel such symptoms as it puts up a strong battle against the intruding virus.
Coughing up sputum (thick mucus that contains dead lung cells killed by the virus) may eventually start. It is advised that you do not panic when this happens to you; just have plenty of bed rest, take plenty of fluids and paracetamol. This stage may last for a week, during which you may recover – because your immune system has fought off the virus. Some people will develop a more severe form of Covid-19 and this will require special treatment from qualified doctors.
COVID-19 is a new disease and only a few people have immunity to it. Hence more people are susceptible to get infected by Coronavirus. When it comes to seasonal flu strains a lot of people have developed immunity for them. Seasonal flu often usually kills less than 1 percent of those infected while 3.4 percent of confirmed cases of Coronavirus have died.
How is Coronavirus spread?
There are many ways in which coronavirus is transmitted. The most common ones that have proved the easiest ways through which the virus can be passed from one person to another are the following.
- Respiratory droplets: When a person cough, sneeze or speak, she/he released from the nose or mouth small droplets. These droplets can travel many feet, according to the scientists and can easily be breathed in by a nearby person. If you inhale the droplets from a sick person who has just coughed or sneezed, you can become infected. That is why it is important to keep a distance from a sick person of more than two metres.
- Touching the surface that an infected person has touched: Coronavirus may persist on objects or surface around the Coronavirus victim for some time. You can also become infected if you touch these objects or surface and then touch your eyes, nose, or mouth. It is therefore important that basic hygiene measures are complied with.
The answer is yes. It is not advisable to touch the clothing of an infected person. Wear protective equipment such as gloves, face masks and others if you need to contact them.
Yes, more particularly if the sick person coughs or sneezes without covering his mouth or nose, the virus can spread through the air. In this case, the nearby person can easily breathe in the mucus droplets which carry the virus and he/she can get infected.
Although there is no much conclusive data on this, it seems possible that if you get to have sex with someone who is infected with COVID-19 you will get infected with the virus. This is because you get close to this infected person.
The global COVID-19 pandemic has had drastic impacts on the world population. All age groups may contract the Coronavirus but, if infected; older people face a greater risk of developing a serious illness. It is due to their ageing physiological changes and possible underlying health problems.
Some countries, including Italy, UK, France, Belgium, Germany, South Korea, Japan, New Zealand, Australia and the United States of America (USA), have begun to experience a decline in death cases of Coronavirus. However, Coronavirus death cases are still on the rise in some countries such as Brazil, Chile and India.
It’s very hard to believe the hot weather will deter the coronavirus as the virus has spread all over the world. Many countries have still not yet hit their peak number of illnesses and deaths. As of today, the other reason is that more than 9.2 million coronavirus cases have been reported globally. If the current coronavirus is seasonal it is too early to be sure.
No-one knows when Coronavirus is going to stop. This virus is expected to cease once an effective vaccine has been developed. COVID-19 has the potential to exist inside a person without ever displaying any signs or symptoms of getting it, but they can also unknowingly pass it on to another person, making it highly possible for new infections to occur.
It is advisable not to undertake unnecessary travel at this time. You are recommended to control symptoms regularly (cough and problems with breathing), check your temperature twice a day, wash your hands often and thoroughly, avoid contact with frail and delicate people and resume your normal operation
Asymptomatic means that symptoms do not show up. As for the asymptomatic transmission of coronavirus, few cases have been reported. This does not, however, rule out the possibility of it happening.
Is there a cure for Coronavirus?
As of today, COVID-19 has no vaccine. Many of the symptoms of Coronavirus have been treated, however, and getting early care from a health care provider can make the disease less dangerous. Several clinical trials are currently underway to test possible COVID-19 therapies. Scientists are also optimistic that a vaccine will be available soon, as many promising vaccine trials are underway in several countries including China, the United States, the United Kingdom, Germany, the Netherlands, France, Italy and many more.
Coronaviruses have existed for some time, but all viruses, including Middle Eastern Respiratory Syndrome and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome, do not have any vaccines.
The data available shows that, for mild cases, a person may fully recover from Covid-19 from the time of infection to clinical recovery in about two weeks. For patients with serious or critical disease, three to six weeks were reported.
Coronavirus tests are classified into two categories: the Molecular Coronavirus test and the Serological (antibody) test. The test you want to use is determined by what you want to find, since the two tests work differently. The Molecular Test shows an active infection of the Coronavirus. It does not rule out bacterial infections or other viral co-infections. This test is deemed highly accurate.
Serological Coronavirus test include the identification of antibodies in a sample of blood, typically obtained by a simple fingerprick. These tests do not require special equipment to analyze the results, so they can be used either in laboratories or at the point of care. Your body develops antibodies when you’re exposed to the virus, which can take several days to over a week. Antibodies are proteins the body produces against invading germs while preparing a response. And when you use the serological tests, they should search for antibodies specifically the Immunoglobulin M (IgM) antibodies that your immune system produces in response to a COVID-19 attack.
It is recommended to eat foods which contain vitamins, dietary fibre, calcium and antioxidants. The fruits that are sponsored include pineapples, mangoes, strawberries and bananas. Additionally, legumes (e.g. lentils, beans), nuts and whole grains (e.g. unprocessed maize, millet, oats, wheat, brown rice or starchy tubers or roots like potato, yam, taro or cassava), and animal products (e.g. beef, fish, eggs and milk). For snacks, choose raw vegetables and fresh fruit rather than foods that are high in sugar, fat or salt. Don’t forget to drink enough water.
Simple precautions are given here to reduce your chances of getting infected or spreading Coronavirus.
- Clean your hands regularly and thoroughly using a hand sanitizer that contains alcohol, or wash them with water and soap.
- Always ensure that the gap between yourself and others is at least two metres. If you’re too close to others, when someone infected coughs, sneezes or speaks, you can breathe in the droplets and get infected in this way.
- Don’t go to crowded areas. This is because keeping a physical distance is more difficult, so you are more likely to get in close touch with someone who has COIVD-19.
- Do not use unwashed hands to reach the soft parts of your body (eyes, nose, and mouth). Your hands touch a lot of surfaces and can catch the virus. When contaminated, the virus can be passed to the eyes, nose or mouth by hand.
- Take the tissue or use a bent elbow to cover your mouth and nose when coughing or sneezing. Dispose of it immediately and wash your hands in case you have used a tissue.
- When you have a headache, cough or mild fever, just stay home and isolate yourself until you recover. Wear a face mask to prevent infecting anyone as you leave your home.
- If you have a fever, cough and trouble breathing, seek medical attention. If possible call ahead by phone and follow the direction of your healthy local authority.
- Try to always obtain the latest COVID-19 information from reputable sources, such as the World Health Organization (WHO) or the local and national health authorities. The local and national authorities are better positioned to advise on what people can do to protect themselves in your area.
Follow the map of the Global Coronavirus, established by the Center for Disease Control (CDC), in collaboration with the World Health Organization (WHO) to decide the corona zone you are in.
According to Center for Disease Control and World Health Organization, Coronavirus region include Australia, African territory, America that incorporates all Latin Hemisphere, Central America, Canadian and North American nations except the United States, Britain, the Baltic colonies, Eastern Caribbean, Northern Atlantic, Western Pacific and South-eastern Asia. Please visit the CDC’s COVID-19 global map for more information on which countries belong to which zone. https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/global-covid-19/world-map.html
World Health Organization / WHO Corona statistics
W.H.O Coronavirus figures indicate that the world has 9.7 million COVID-19 cases as of June 24, 2020, and that nearly 477,269 deaths are registered worldwide. The main cases of illnesses and deaths are in America and Europe. You should also check the reports of the WHO on corona, which are updated regularly. To find more statistics, please follow this link. https://www.who.int/docs/default-source/coronaviruse/situation-reports/20200607-covid-19-sitrep-139.pdf?sfvrsn=79dc6d08_2
CORONAVIRUS/ COVID-19 FAQs
A novel coronavirus has not been previously identified. It is a new virus that causes a disease called COVID-19 or Coronavirus disease in 2019. It is different from the coronaviruses that circulate commonly in humans and cause mild illness such as a cold. A diagnosis of coronavirus 229E, NL63, OC43, or HKU1 is not synonymous with a diagnosis of COVID-19.
The World Health Organization (WHO) needed to come up with a name to distinguish this new disease from the various other forms of human coronaviruses, including those that usually cause minor upper respiratory tract diseases. The label COVID-19 was based on best practices for designating a new human infectious disease by the WHO. ‘CO’ represents ‘corona,’ ‘VI’ means ‘virus’ and ‘D’ mean illness. This disease was formerly called “2019 novel coronavirus” or “2019-nCoV.”
Several countries are using distinct data collection methods and processing from those used by the CDC, John Hopkins or the WHO in determining the number of Coronavirus cases. This has brought about the differences in the overall COVID-19 case numbers. CDC’s COVID-19 case numbers include many publicly reported numbers, including information from state, local, territorial, international and external partners.
Several countries use different data collection and analysis approaches from those used by the CDC, John Hopkins or the WHO when calculating the number of cases of Coronavirus. That also brought on the variations in the total number of COVID-19 cases. CDC’s COVID-19 case numbers include numerous publicly reported numbers including state, local, territorial, international, and external partner information.
What is known is that many people who have been seriously ill with COVID-19 have high blood pressure, but they are often older or have other medical conditions such as obesity, diabetes, and severe heart conditions that put them at a higher risk of severe illness. Recent results have not yet necessarily shown that people with elevated blood pressure and no other underlying health problems are more likely to get critically ill from Coronavirus / COVID-19 than anyone.
The answer is yes. Coronavirus can easily be transmitted to another person. People with severe illness or those with symptoms are considered to be the most contagious. CDC and WHO also advocate isolating these patients either at the hospital or at home until they are healthier and no longer pose a risk of infecting others. Asymptomatic patients (those without symptoms of Coronavirus) can also spread the virus actively, without ever noticing it.
Quarantine involves isolating a person or group of individuals who have been diagnosed with an infectious disease like COVID-19 but have not exhibited symptoms, in order to prevent the potential transmission of the disease. The period of incubation of that communicable disease determines the amount of time that person spends in quarantine. An infected person may develop signs and symptoms of the illness within that time.
For COVID-19, the incubation or quarantine period is 14 days. It also means that after someone is released from COVID-19 isolation, he or she is not considered a risk of spreading the virus to others because they have not developed illness during the incubation period.
The studies currently ongoing provide no indication that Coronavirus can be spread through food. Further analysis is needed.
Some of the questions most commonly posed about COVID-19 include:-Can high temperatures kill the virus that causes Coronavirus COVID-19? Is COVID-19 sensitive to temperature?
It is not yet known. Coronaviruses, however, are usually considered to live at higher temperatures and higher humidity for shorter periods, while at lower temperatures they can live for longer periods. However, for a temperature-based threshold at which this virus will die, there are no definitive study results. Regardless of the temperature, please follow the CDC and W.H.O guidelines on how to prevent this disease from spreading. https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prevent-getting-sick/
Research data on this new corona virus suggests as of today that the COVID-19 spreads are from person to person, but not from mosquitoes or ticks.
Community spread is when people get infected with the virus in area and it is impossible to trace for contacts since many people will not be sure how or where they became infected.
To stay safe from COVID-19, follow the CDC and the WHO guidelines on how to protect yourself and others around you from Coronavirus, for example.
- Know how the disease spreads
- Since there is currently no vaccine to prevent coronavirus disease 2019. The best way to prevent illness is to avoid being exposed to this virus.
- The virus is thought to spread mainly from person-to-person especially between people who are in close contact with one another (within about 6 feet) through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs, sneezes or talks. These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby or possibly be inhaled into the lungs. Some recent studies have suggested that COVID-19 may be spread by people who are not showing symptoms.
- Everyone Should
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds especially after you have been in a public place or after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
- If soap and water are not readily available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. Cover all surfaces of your hands and rub them together until they feel dry.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
- Avoid close contact
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick, even inside your home. If possible, maintain 6 feet between the person who is sick and other household members.
- Put distance between yourself and other people outside of your home.
- Remember that some people without symptoms may be able to spread the virus.
- Stay at least 6 feet (about 2 arms’ length) from other people.
- Do not gather in groups.
- Stay out of crowded places and avoid mass gatherings.
- Keeping distance from others is especially important for people who are at higher risk of getting very sick.
- Cover your mouth and nose with a cloth face cover when around others
- You could spread COVID-19 to others even if you do not feel sick.
- Everyone should wear a cloth face cover when they have to go out in public, for example to the grocery store or to pick up other necessities.
- Cloth face coverings should not be placed on young children under age 2, anyone who has trouble breathing, or is unconscious, incapacitated or otherwise unable to remove the mask without assistance.
- The cloth face cover is meant to protect other people in case you are infected.
- Do NOT use a facemask meant for a healthcare worker.
- Continue to keep about 6 feet between yourself and others. The cloth face cover is not a substitute for social distancing.
- Cover coughs and sneezes
- If you are in a private setting and do not have on your cloth face covering, remember to always cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze or use the inside of your elbow.
- Throw used tissues in the trash.
- Immediately wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not readily available, clean your hands with a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.
- Clean and disinfect
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces daily. This includes tables, doorknobs, light switches, countertops, handles, desks, phones, keyboards, toilets, faucets, and sinks.
- If surfaces are dirty, clean them. Use detergent or soap and water prior to disinfection.
- Then, use a household disinfectant. Most common EPA-registered household disinfectants will work.
- Monitor Your Health
- Be alert for symptoms. Watch out for fever, cough, shortness of breath, or other symptoms of COVID-19.
- Especially important if you are running essential errands, going into the office or workplace, and in settings where it may be difficult to keep a physical distance of 6 feet.
- Take your temperature if symptoms develop.
- Don’t take your temperature within 30 minutes of exercising or after taking medications that could lower your temperature, like acetaminophen.
It is recommended that you space at least 2 meters between yourself and others. That is because when someone cough, sneeze or talk, he/she spray small liquid droplets from the nose or mouth which may contain the virus and if you are too close, you can breathe in the droplets. In case that person has COVID-19 you can as well get the disease.
For this case, CDC and W.H.O recommends that;
- You stay at home. Most people with COVID-19 have mild illness and can recover at home without medical care. Do not leave your home, except to get medical care. Do not visit public areas.
- You take care of yourself. Get rest and stay hydrated. Take counter medicines, such as acetaminophen, to help you feel better.
- You stay in touch with your doctor. However, you should call before you get medical care. Be sure to get care if you have trouble breathing, or have any other emergency warning signs, or if you think it is an emergency.
- You avoid public transportation, ride-sharing, or taxis.
- You separate yourself from other people
- You stay in a specific room and away from other people and pets in your home. If possible, you should use a separate bathroom. If you need to be around other people or animals in or outside of the home, wear a cloth face covering.
- If you have a medical appointment that cannot be postponed, call your doctor’s office, and tell them you have or may have COVID-19. This will help the office protect themselves and other patients.
- If you are sick wear a cloth covering over your nose and mouth
- You should wear a cloth face covering, over your nose and mouth if you must be around other people or animals, including pets (even at home)
- You don’t need to wear the cloth face covering if you are alone. If you can’t put on a cloth face covering (because of trouble breathing, for example), cover your coughs and sneezes in some other way. Try to stay at least 6 feet away from other people. This will help protect the people around you.
- Cloth face coverings should not be placed on young children under age 2 years, anyone who has trouble breathing, or anyone who is not able to remove the covering without help.
Note: During the COVID-19 pandemic, medical-grade facemasks are reserved for healthcare workers and some first responders. You may need to make a cloth face-covering using a scarf or bandana.
It is recommended that if a person shows any of these signs for coronavirus, such as trouble breathing, persistent chest pain or pressure, new confusion, unable to wake up or remain awake, bluish lips or face, he/she should seek medical attention
Note: Call ahead and notify the local health authority that you are seeking care for someone who has or may have Coronavirus COVID-19.
COVID-19 is unlikely to be distributed by domestic or international mail, goods or packaging. Nonetheless, this is not known to be the predominant way virus spreads. People could possibly contract Coronavirus by touching surfaces or object with the virus on it and then touching their mouth, nose and eyes.
The World Health Organization (WHO) and CDC are urging people who are well off to do blood donation whenever they can. CDC assists blood centers with guidelines that will ensure donors and workers are healthy. Examples of these recommendations include spacing donor chairs 6 feet apart, adhering to thorough cleaning practices in the environment and encouraging donors to make donation appointments early.
This is possible that as they return to their families, those who have recovered from COVID-19 and cured from it have experienced a certain degree of shame. Many people will often associate them with the illness despite being absolutely healed and pose no chance of infecting others in society.
Flattening the curve means reducing the rate of new infections at any given time. This essentially allows healthcare services to better manage the same patient volume without straining the healthcare system at all.
The current evidence shows that children are not at higher risk than adults to contract Coronavirus. However, the disease has been recorded in children and infants.
Both children and adults develop similar Coronavirus symptoms. The only difference is that kids appear to experience such minor symptoms as fever, runny nose, and cough. There were also reports of vomiting and diarrhoea. It is not yet clear for certain that any children, particularly those with existing medical conditions and special healthcare needs, could be at a greater risk for serious illness.
No transmission of coronavirus through breast milk has been found. When breastfeeding, a mother can also follow effective hygiene precautions, including, if applicable, wearing a medical mask to minimize the risk of COVID-19 droplets transferring to her child
According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), every one of 2 years and older should wear a cloth face covering that covers their nose and mouth when they are out in the community. Cloth face coverings should not be put on babies or children younger than 2 because of the danger of suffocation. Children younger than 2 years of age are listed as an exception as well as anyone who has trouble breathing or is unconscious, incapacitated, or otherwise unable to remove the face covering without assistance.
If you wear a face mask in an audience, it will reduce the spread of COVID-19, especially where social distancing, frequent hand cleaning and other daily preventive actions cannot be done regularly. In case the wearer is positive for COVID-19 it stops the transmission of the virus from the wearer to others. That would be particularly important if someone is infected but has no symptoms. Health face masks and N95 respirators, as suggested by new CDC guidelines, are only intended for health care workers and other first responders.
Be calm when talking about COVID-19 with your kids. Re-assures them they’re okay. You should warn them of the effects, and encourage them not to get sick. Kids respond differently to stressful situations than adults do.
According to existing study reports, COVID-19 does not appear to pose a particular danger to expectant mothers. Therefore pregnant women are not entitled to extra preventive precautions other than those usually prescribed during pregnancy.
SCHOOL DISMISSALS & CHILDREN
It’s not recommended that children go and hang out from other families with other children. This is mainly because the practice of social distancing is the key to slowing COVID-19 spread. If interacting with other children outside their own homes is absolutely essential for these children, they should strive to remain 6 feet away from anyone who is not in their own household. You can help your kids have supervised phone calls or video chats with their friends to help them stay socially connected with their friends while being socially distancing.
Below are some of the guidelines that you can follow to ensure that your child stays learning.
Stay in touch with the school of your child: Today, several schools offer virtual learning to students. You need to know what the school has to offer for your child in terms of assignments. You may need to help your child set a reasonable pace to complete the work, too. You might need to help your child turn on devices, read instructions and type answers. You should inform the school of the child in the event of technological or connectivity challenges
Create a home learning program and timetable, but remain adaptable: Having a consistent sleep period is important. Come up with an organized time table for day-to-day exercises, counting, learning or finishing school assignments as well as solid dinners and snacks, and physical movement. Allow adaptability within the plan, an adjustment based on your day is affirmed.
Search for ways to make learning fun: Have hands-on exercises such as puzzles, painting, drawing, and making things that make the child mentally and physically locked inside the task. In putting organized learning, autonomous play can also be used. Encourage kids to create a sheet shelter or practice counting by piling tiles.
People with a higher risk of getting a severe illness from Coronavirus disease 2019, for example, those aged 65 years and above should implement the following guidelines to avoid getting infected.
- Stock up on supplies such as groceries, medicines if you need any
- Take everyday precautions to keep space between yourself and others
- When you go out in public, keep away from others who are sick
- Limit close contact and wash your hands often
- Avoid crowds, cruise travel, and non-essential travel
- If there is an outbreak in your community
- Try to stay home as much as possible and watch for symptoms and emergency signs for COVID-19.
- If you get sick, stay home and call your doctor.
Unless a disabled person has other underlying medical conditions that will make him/her susceptible to the virus, this person is not at higher risk of becoming infected with COVID-19 when compared to other people.
CLEANING & DISINFECTION
Cleaning is done with soap and water to removes germs, dirt, and impurities from surfaces to lower the risk of spreading infection while disinfecting refers to the use of stronger detergents which kill germs on surfaces and this can further lower the risk of spreading infection
In order to preserve a safe environment, comprehensive daily maintenance activity can be conducted at company facilities, clinics, and house. Door handles, bathroom surfaces, handrails, and other surfaces frequently touched by multiple people should be cleaned at least daily with soap and water or another detergent when these facilities are in use. More frequent cleaning and disinfection may be necessary according to the level of use. For example, certain surfaces and objects in public spaces should be cleaned and disinfected before each use, such as shopping carts and point of sale keypads.
No, cleaning only helps to remove germs, which reduces the risk of infection spreading, but it does not kill the germ, which means that the risk of infection remains. If a surface may have received the virus from a person with or suspected of having COVID-19, the surface should be immediately cleaned and disinfected, but other measures should also be taken to control the spread of Coronavirus.
A limited number of animals were confirmed to have been contracting coronavirus around the world. This mostly happens after having contacts with a person with the virus that cause COVID-19. What remains unknown is which animals may or may not be infected with Coronavirus. However, a limited number of animals, including dogs, cats, lions and tigers, have been confirmed to be infected with the virus that causes COVID-19, often after near contact with people with COVID-19; are known to the W.H.O and CDC.
It should not be a priority as of now since there are only a few cases of animals being tested positive for COVID-19.
While animals can often bear other germs that can make humans ill, scientific results today do not support the argument that animal skins can harbour the novel corona virus. It is always a good idea, however, to practice healthy habits around animals, including washing hands before and after interacting with it.
Yes, but when you’re out for a walk do not let other people pet your dog. Hold up on a leash while you walk your dog and try to keep at least 6 feet (2 metres) away from others as far as possible.
When you suspect that your pet has developed novel Coronavirus symptoms, talk to your doctor. You are not advised to take the pet to the veterinarian doctor, just call him/her and let him/her know that the pet was near a COVID-19 infected person. Some veterinarians may offer consultations on telemedicine, or other plans to see sick pets. A doctor will diagnose a pet and decide next steps to handle and care for your pet.
Animals are rarely tested for the virus the cause COVID-19. Not even doing routine animal testing at this time is advised. Any animal studies are performed on a case-by-case basis. For example, if a COVID-19 patient’s pet has a new disease with symptoms close to those of COVID-19, the veterinarian of the animal can meet with officials of public health and animal welfare to decide whether testing is appropriate.
COVID-19 & WATER
Current findings from the research show that Coronavirus has not been detected in drinking water. Conventional methods of handling water using filtration and disinfection, such as those used in most urban or regional drinking water supplies, are effective in destroying or inactivating the COVID-19 virus.
Yes, the virus was found in the feces of some diagnosed COVID-19 patients. It is not yet clear, however, that the virus present in feces could be capable of triggering COVID-19 as there has not been a verified case of the virus spreading to a human from feces.
Yes, the virus was found in the faeces of some diagnosed COVID-19 patients. It is not yet clear, however, that the virus present in faeces could be capable of triggering COVID-19 as there has not been a verified case of the virus spreading to a human from faeces.
Yeah, Coronavirus was detected in untreated wastewater, but scientists are not sure whether this virus can cause disease if a person is exposed to untreated wastewater or sewerage systems. The probability of transmission of the virus causing COVID-19 through properly built and maintained sewerage systems is considered very small at this time.