NAIROBI, Kenya, Mar 24 – Three travelers from Kenya are among seventeen newly confirmed coronavirus cases in Rwanda, raising the total in Kigali to 36, the highest in the region.
A statement issued by Rwanda’s Ministry of Health indicated the cases include nine travelers from Dubai, two from USA and two from Qatar and India.
Rwanda said the travelers were put under isolation between March 17 and 20 where they got tested.
The patients are in stable condition and isolated from others currently being monitored, the country’s health ministry said.
All Rwandees or legal residents returning to the country are now subjected to a mandatory 14-day quarantine at a government designated centres.
The country is on a partial lock down with closure of non-essential businesses, suspension of travel between cities and restriction of movements outside homes.
COVID-19 cases are gradually rising in the region. Uganda has reported nine cases while Tanzania and Kenya has six and sixteen cases respectively.
Ethiopia’s Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed Monday held talks with the Chairperson of the African Union Commission Moussa Faki, and former British Prime Ministers Tony Blair and Gordon Brown to discuss measures to contain the pandemic in the continent
“We’ve discussed on how African leaders can collectively overcome the global COVID-19 challenge at a continental level,” Ahmed said.
The Common Market for Eastern and South Africa (COMESA) also said African countries must brace themselves for an increased disease burden – social and financial burden of the COVID-19.
“They should therefore mobilize human and financial resources and coordinate preventive measures to counter the likely spread of the disease,” COMESA said.
The organization’s Secretary General, Chileshe Mpundu Kapwepwe urged Central Banks in Member States to keep interest rates low to encourage private sector borrowing to stimulate domestic production and consumption.
“Reduced imports of manufactured products, input supplies, travel restrictions and FDI inflows are likely to put further constraints on growth and development,” he said.
“African countries can seize the opportunity and expand intra-African trade currently standing at barely 15% of their total trade,” Kapwepwe noted.