President Paul Kagame reassured Rwandans that the fight against coronavirus pandemic in the country will be won, calling on everybody to observe preventive measures to contain its further spread.
Speaking in a televised address to the nation about COVID-19 on Friday night, Kagame said Rwanda is working with different partners in the region and globally in this fight, where he appreciated the World Health Organization (WHO), Jack Ma and his foundation and others for their material and advisory support.
“Rwandans working together have overcome many challenges at different times. Your partnership is needed in the fight against this pandemic, and we must win,” he said.
So far 54 COVID-19 confirmed cases have been reported in the country as of March 27, majority imported, according to the Ministry of Health.
Warning that these numbers could raise as tracing of contact people continues, the President urged Rwandans to remain calm, stay at home, practice social distancing, and regular hand washing.
He noted that the suspension of arriving and departing passenger flights and border closures has helped to prevent entry of new cases.
He acknowledged that these are difficult times which have hampered the livelihoods of many Rwandans across the country, but said government will continue to do whatever is possible to help Rwandans.
Different institutions are devising ways to help the vulnerable, what remains is to fast track the process, he said.
Noting that everybody has played a responsible role since the first patient was reported in Rwanda a fortnight ago, the Head of State commended frontline workers for their “continued sacrifice working day and night to try to prevent new cases, as well as treating those who tested positive.”
Government banned travel between cities and districts in order to contain the spread of the virus.
The President said it’s everyone’s responsibility to contain the virus spread despite the inconveniences.
I again ask for everybody’s role, the measures we took are paying off, Kagame said, adding that the measures taken will determine how long Rwanda takes to overcome the COVID-19 pandemic.
According to the Ministry of Health, the majority of patients in Rwanda are asymptomatic and no patient is in critical condition.
The ministry says more than 1000 contact people are being closely monitored who must be under quarantine for mandatory 14 days.
There are now more than half a million confirmed cases of COVID-19, including more than 20,000 deaths worldwide, the WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said on Friday.
Tedros also noted that there are hundreds of thousands of survivors amid the pandemic around the world.