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RWANDA DEPLOYS DRONES TO RAISE CORONAVIRUS AWARENESS IN COMMUNITIES

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VENTURES 13 04 2020

s part of measures to fight the coronavirus pandemic, the Rwanda National Police (RNP) has announced the usage of drones to raise awareness in local communities.

Announced on Sunday, April 12, 2020, the police cautioned the public to avoid gathering in large groups where drones will be delivering messages. “We have added drones to our methods of raising awareness about COVID-19,” reads a statement from authorities.

The deployment of drones comes as the country records at least 126 cases, 25 of which have recovered and discharged. The police in a tweet warned, “Do not leave your home to view the drones, do not gather in large groups when drones deliver messages.”

According to Rwanda’s Ministry of Health, the new cases were identified in the ongoing exercise of tracing people who came into contact with people infected with the virus, adding that all patients are now being treated in designated health facilities and that none of them is in critical condition.

As the number of confirmed cases surge, the government has taken several measures to curb the spread of the virus, the recent one being an extension of the lockdown by 15 days more. 

To ensure the effectiveness of the approach in the fight against the pandemic, the police have decided to take its awareness to local communities on how best to ensure proper social distancing and other precautionary measures.

The country has also closed all of its borders and suspended passenger flights. Only cargo and returning nationals and legal residents are being allowed into the country, but they must undergo a mandatory 14-day quarantine before they are allowed back into communities.

Aside from creating awareness in communities using drones, it can also be used to deliver goods, parcel or even medical materials while people observe social distancing, thus reducing the spread of COVID-19. Those who are at a heightened risk to the virus stand to benefit more from drone services as using drones for deliveries would decrease their likelihood of contracting the disease. 

As coronavirus cases have risen to more than 1,777,660 while the death toll now stands at 108,902 in 185 countries, public health officials have repeatedly called on African governments to be more proactive to curb the spread of the pandemic.

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