Rwanda announced Saturday it had closed all places of worship and schools following the confirmation of a positive coronavirus (COVID-19) case in the country.
A statement issued by the country’s ministry of health said even other mass gatherings should be postponed for two weeks as the situation is being monitored.
“Places of worship are closed from Sunday March 15, 2020, with prayers to be conducted from home,” the ministry announced.
“Schools and higher education institutions (both public and private) shall close on Monday, March 16, 2020.”
The statement suggested that employees should be permitted to work from home, where possible, in consultation with their employers.
The ministry further suggested that large events such as weddings and sports be postponed and the number of people attending burial ceremonies be minimized.
“Businesses and restaurants continue to operate, but adequate distance between customers (at least one meter) must be maintained.”
The government also warned against unnecessary movements as well as overcrowding.
Rwanda registered the first case of COVID-19 on Saturday, becoming the second East African country to record a patient.
An initial health ministry statement said an Indian citizen who arrived from Mumbai on March 8, had tested positive to the virus.
“The patient had no symptoms upon arrival in Rwanda and reported himself to a health facility .
In a related development, Senegal has also closed schools, bans Independence Day events over coronavirus.
Senegal’s President Macky Sall on Saturday announced strict measures aimed at slowing the spread of coronavirus, including banning public gatherings, closing schools and cancelling April 4 Independence Day festivities.
“I have decided, first of all, to ban all public events for 30 days throughout the country,” Sall said on national television following an emergency meeting.