Burundi president says COVID-19 under control; no new cases for several weeks


Burundian President Evariste Ndayishimiye on Friday said the COVID-19 pandemic has been brought under control in the east African nation and no new cases have been found for several weeks.

“We have seriously fought against the COVID-19 pandemic and we have won the fight. The pandemic is no longer a problem here. For several weeks, there are no new infections,” said Ndayishimiye in a live public conference held in the political capital Gitega, central Burundi.

The president said he had been thinking about combating the pandemic before taking office in June, and that all citizens supported him in the battle.

Although Burundi is said to be the “poorest” country in the world, it has shown its powerfulness in combating COVID-19, where testing centers have been set up on borders to screen people entering the nation from neighboring countries, he said.

Ndayishimiye said a decision to reopen Melchior Ndadaye International Airport, Burundi’s main airport, will be taken at the “appropriate” time.

Burundi now has only 11 active COVID-19 cases, and all the patients, under treatment at their homes, are in stable condition, health minister Thaddee Ndikumana told a press conference on Tuesday.

Since the outbreak of COVID-19 in Burundi in late March, 474 positive cases in total were confirmed as of Sept. 20, of which 462 have recovered and one passed away, the minister said.

Burundi launched a three-month mass COVID-19 screening campaign in July. It also announced a halving of soap prices to boost hygiene, supported by government subsidies. The price of water supply is also cut in some parts of the country, including major towns.

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