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Burundi to quarantine travelers from US, UK, Australia

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Burundi will quarantine travelers from the U.S., U.K., and Australia beginning Tuesday in efforts to prevent a coronavirus outbreak there, local media reported.

“As of March 17, passengers from the U.S., the U.K., and Australia, or others who have stayed in those countries for 14 days and are coming to Burundi, will be quarantined to prevent the coronavirus spread,” the IWACU news outlet quoted Health Minister Thaddee Ndikumana.

Ndikumana said the government has decided to quarantine 261 people, including students and foreigners, who entered Burundi from Rwanda on Sunday.

Cautioning Burundians against handshakes or hugs while greeting, Ndikumana advised the public to avoid traveling to countries with confirmed cases.

According to IWACU, another official, Pamphile Bukuru, told reporters the quarantine was deemed necessary by the government to protect the entire national and international community from the spread of the virus.

Burundi, which has no confirmed cases of the virus known as COVID-19, last week imposed a quarantine requirement for those coming from EU member states and countries most affected by the global outbreak, including China and Iran.

In East Africa, Burundi and Uganda are the only countries with no virus cases.

Benin, Liberia, and Tanzania became the latest African countries to confirm COVID-19 cases Monday.

According to the World Health Organization, there were 350 cases across Africa as of Monday.

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