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27.11.2021 02:12 News >> Rwanda Reinstates Mandatory 24-Hour Quarantine For Arrivals

Rwanda Reinstates Mandatory 24-Hour Quarantine For Arrivals

Measure to limit spread of new Omicron coronavirus variant, protect progress, says government.

Rwanda said Friday it will reintroduce a mandatory 24-hour quarantine beginning Sunday for incoming travelers, following the detection of a new coronavirus variant in South Africa.
South Africa announced Thursday that scientists detected the new variant, B.1.1.529, in samples taken from Nov. 14 to Nov. 16.
The announcement triggered reactions from around the world with stricter measures implemented.
Following the confirmation of the new variant, the Ministry of Health is reinstating an obligatory 24-hour quarantine in designated hotels at the cost of the traveler for all who arrive in Rwanda effective noon on Nov. 28.
As of Nov. 24, Rwanda registered 100,255 cases with 1, 341 fatalities since the outbreak of the virus in the country, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).
New cases have fallen in recent months in Rwanda.
"The measures are being taken to limit the spread of the new variant and to protect the gains Rwanda has made so far in managing the COVID-19 pandemic and reopening of the economy," said a government statement.
On whether the latest measures would be enough to prevent the spread of the variant, Health Minister Daniel Ngamije said additional measures will be announced in the coming days as scientists carry out tests to determine whether the mutation is more transmissible or infectious than other variants.
Last month, Rwanda removed quarantines for incoming travelers who were fully vaccinated for the virus as some countries relaxed restrictions for travelers from the east African country.
It, however, required all arriving and leaving passengers to present proof of a negative PCR test taken within 72 hours prior to departure.
The Health Ministry encouraged the public, including those who are fully vaccinated, to continue to strictly observe preventive measures, wearing of face masks, social distancing, hand washing and ensuring maximum ventilation in indoor spaces.
Britain, the European Union and India have already announced stricter border controls.
The B.1.1.529 variant was first reported to the World Health Organization (WHO) from South Africa on Nov. 24.
On Friday, the World Health Organization (WHO) convened its technical working group on virus evolution. The group advised the WHO that it should be designated a Variant of Concern (VOC).
The WHO has named the variant Omicron. "This variant has a large number of mutations, some of which are concerning. Preliminary evidence suggests an increased risk of reinfection with this variant, as compared to other VOCs," according to the WHO.
The UN health agency identified four other variants of concern - Alpha, Beta, Gamma and Delta. -



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