COVID-19: Burundian Health Ministry forbids handshaking and hugging

In an attempt to prevent the spread of Corona virus which has already been reported in the neighboring countries, the Public Health Minister has asked people to avoid shaking hands and hugging.

Thaddée Ndikumana: “Passengers from infected countries must be quarantined”

Thaddée Ndikumana, the Burundian Minister of Public Health says all passengers from the UK, USA and Australia will be quarantined from March 17.

“They will add to another 60 passengers from the EU, China, Italy, Japan, Germany, Spain, South Korea, France and Iran who have been quarantined at Hotel Source du Nil,” he says adding that they won’t be charged for their stay.

The Health Minister adds that passengers from the neighboring Rwanda will also be screened since cases of COVID-19 have recently been reported there.

On 15 March, at least 296 passengers including 75 Burundian high school students, 25 University students, 132 adult people, 10 returnees and 20 foreigners were shortly quarantined at Ngozi paramedical school.

“They were identified and screened before going back to their families,” he says adding that there has been no suspected case of COVID-19 in Burundi so far.
Thaddée Ndikumana also says that no border has been closed although cases of COVID-19 are reported in the neighboring countries.

He says health workers will follow closely those passengers at home. In addition, he says, passengers crossing borders and those landing at Melchior Ndadaye International airport must facilitate the work of health workers.

He exhorts Burundians to limit their trips to those countries infected by the virus. Dr Ndikumana recommends hygienic measures to Burundians and foreigners especially regular hand washing in an attempt to prevent the virus. “Handshakes and hugs are prohibited from now on,” he says adding that there is no suspected case of COVID-19 in Burundi.

According to WHO, authorities in 149 countries reported 164,837 cases of Corona virus and 6,470 deaths it caused until March 15.