Govt suspends flights as COVID-19 cases climb

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Rwanda will suspend arriving and departing commercial flights for a period of 30 days effective Friday, in a bid to control the spread of the coronavirus epidemic in the country, government said Wednesday, as the number of confirmed case of COVID-19 reached 11.

Three additional coronavirus cases were identified through a positive test, bringing the confirmed number to 11, according to the Ministry of Health statement.

“To further mitigate the COVID-19 outbreak, all arriving and departing commercial passenger flights including RwandAir will be halted beginning at midnight on March 20 for an initial period of 30 days,” the statement said.
The patients include 37-year old Indian woman who arrived in Rwanda on March 8 from Mumbai, it said. The woman is wife to the first positive case who had also arrived in Rwanda from Mumbai.

The other two latest patients include 26-year old Rwandan without recent travel history and his compatriot aged 45 who arrived in the country on March 16 from Belgium via Addis Ababa, according to the ministry.

The ministry has called for vigilance, urging the public to continue to observe preventive measures particularly by washing hands regularly, avoiding unnecessary large gatherings, and reporting symptoms by calling a toll-free number.

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