Photograph — WHO

Earlier in the week, Rwanda implemented a noteworthy measure to protect its territory from the ravaging COVIC-19 (coronavirus) outbreak which has killed thousands of people; shutting down cities, crippling economies and unleashing an avalanche of fear across the globe. The Rwandan government flooded Kigali, the country’s capital city, with portable sinks for hand-washing at bus stops, restaurants, banks, bar and shops with strict instructions for people to wash their hands regularly even though it had not recorded a case of the coronavirus as of the time of this article, 15:14 GMT.

The New Times (Rwanda) said on Tuesday that the Eastern African country has stepped up vigilance as the virus sweeps across the continent. According to the report, “to prevent the risk of Coronavirus outbreak, passengers at the Kigali Bus Park have to wash their hands before getting onto buses.” 

Kigali is making sure that these sanitising devices are not merely installed but also used. In an interview with Reuters, Jimmy Blaise Bugingo said “Authorities advised us to buy these hands washing machines and ask customers to use them. We are doing this to fight the coronavirus outbreak.” Bugingo is an inspection officer at a bus company that travels to Congo known as Alpha Express.

Rwanda is one of the countries in Africa that has been lauded for an effective health care system and for taking proactive measures towards living a healthy lifestyle. The government is known for the propagation of the Universal Health Coverage. 

Last year, Rwanda’s President Paul Kagame, in a High-Level Meeting preceding the 74th United Nations General Assembly, called on partners in the healthcare sector to implement universal access to healthcare initiatives to improve the welfare of people across the world.

Also, in November 2019, Rwanda had a combined celebration of  Hand Washing Day and World Toilet Day under a Sanitation and Hygiene Week From 17-22 November. Its  Ministry of Health led the Sanitation and Hygiene Week to create larger awareness and united action towards improved sanitation and hygiene in Rwanda, far before the outbreak of the global virus.

This latest move by the Rwandan government is worth emulating. Countries around the globe should pay attention to what the eastern nation is doing and consider either taking a queue from them or coming up with better measures to combat the spread of the virus.

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