Rwanda has imposed a seven-day quarantine for passengers arriving in Kigali due to he new COVID-19 variant. The quarantine will however, majorly be for passengers traveling in from countries that have been affected by this new variant.
Currently, all direct flights between Rwanda and southern African countries have been temporarily suspended.
The country made the decision to try and contain the variant that has been recently detected in South Africa and neighboring countries. Now known as Omicron, the new Variant has been confirmed in 13 countries.
A cabinet meeting held on Sunday confirmed the resolutions but the East African country and also discussed its response to the variant. President Paul Kagame chaired the meeting.
The new variant, B.1.1.529, is said to spread three times faster than the Delta variant.
Rwanda has joined the European Union, United States, Israel, UAE, the UK among others that have suspended South African flights.
However, the WHO said it may be too late to impose flight bans as the variant has already spread to over a dozen other countries.
In its response to the pandemic, Rwanda made vaccination obligatory for people to attend functions and meet in gatherings.
“People attending events/gatherings, including conferences, concerts, weddings, festivals or exhibitions, must be fully vaccinated and tested,” a statement released by the office of the prime minister says.
Health Minister Daniel Ngamije said the only shield against these COVID-19 variants is the vaccine and therefore urged all citizens to get vaccinated.
“These variants are all derived from one virus which has a vaccine. Just like we beat Delta last year, we will beat this one as well,” Dr. Ngamije said.
The new variant though, comes at a very worrying time when the festive season is approaching, so he called upon the public to be cautious.
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