Govt cautions public against handshake, hug over coronavirus

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The government Friday urged citizens to be vigilant amid the global spread of the coronavirus, warning the public to avoid especially handshake and close body contact such as hug, a common practice in the country.

“Rwanda has put in place preparedness and response mechanisms to deal with a possible outbreak; however, given the severity of the epidemic and rapidity with which it spreads we urge all Rwandans to take appropriate precautions and follow the advice of health professionals,” a statement by the prime minister’s office said.

Warning the public against unnecessary travels to countries affected by coronavirus, the statement urged people to cover mouth and nose when coughing or sneezing in public, and wash hands with clean water and soap or hand sanitize.

It also urged the public to avoid contact with others whenever one has flulike symptoms, cough or high fever.

In addition, it urged people to contact the nearest health facility whenever they experience symptoms such as flu, fever, running nose, and cough with sore throat.

The Ministry of Health and other relevant institutions will continue to work on adequate strategies in the prevention and fight against this epidemic, the statement added.

The Government of Rwanda has set up a multidisciplinary team to assess and strengthen preparedness and response to the epidemic.

More than 100,000 cases have been reported across the world, as the coronavirus outbreak this week reached more countries and economic damage intensified.

On Friday Cameroon and Togo were the latest countries on the continent to confirm first case of COVID-19 after Nigeria, Senegal, Algeria and South Africa.

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