Rwanda to suspend flights as COVID-19 cases reach 11

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Rwanda announced on Wednesday it will suspend arriving and departing commercial flights for a period of 30 days, effective Friday, in a bid to stem the coronavirus spread in the country.

Three additional coronavirus cases have been identified, bringing the total confirmed number to 11, the Ministry of Health said in a 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 a 37-year old Indian woman who arrived in Rwanda on March 8 from Mumbai, it said. The woman is wife of a man in the first positive case who had also arrived in Rwanda from Mumbai.

The other two latest patients include a 26-year old Rwandan without recent travel history and his compatriot aged 45 who arrived in the country on Monday 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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