Govt suspends worship places after COVID-19 outbreak

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The government on Saturday announced two-week suspension of places of worship and education institutions effective Sunday following the confirmation of the first case of COVID-19 in the country.

“Places of worship are closed from March 15 with prayers to be conducted from home,” a statement issued by the ministry of health said.

Schools and higher education institutions both public and private shall close on Monday March 16, it said.

According to Anastase Shyaka, the Minister of Local government the decision on places of worship was reached in consultation with religious leaders.

The government also said employees should be permitted to work from home wherever possible in consultation with their employers.

Large gathering such as weddings and sporting events are to be postponed and the number of people attending burial ceremonies should be minimized, the statement said.

It said while businesses and restaurants will continue to operate adequate distance between customers must be maintained.

The ministry also cautioned against unnecessary movements, adding that public transport must not be overcrowded.

“Hand hygiene and social distancing are the only effective methods of preventing transmission of coronavirus. Citizens are therefore reminded of the critical importance of frequent hand washing and of avoiding unnecessary physical contact with others,” it said.

It advised any person with classic symptoms of COVID-19 such as dry cough, high fever to stay at home and call toll-free number 114 for further guidance or consult a community health worker.

The Minister of Health Daniel Ngamije called on the public to be vigilant and beware of disinformation on coronavirus.

Earlier on Saturday the ministry of health had confirmed an imported case, an Indian national from Mumbai who arrived in the country on Sunday without symptoms but later tested positive on Friday.

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