Burundi will quarantine for 14 days all travelers arriving here from the EU and countries most affected by the coronavirus including China and Iran, health officials announced Thursday.
Burundi has quarantined 32 people as of March 12, since the decision was made to isolate passengers arriving from certain countries, a government statement said without revealing nationalities.
Appealing to all institutions and businesses to put in place hand washing facilities and report any suspected cases, the health ministry said the measure is intended to prevent the spread of the virus and emphasized that Burundi does not have any confirmed cases.
Local media reported Tuesday that those quarantined are living in a hotel in the capital, Bujumbura, and a special treatment facility is being built in Bubanza.
Visitors’ to the hotel have been prohibited since Tuesday by officers of the mobile rapid response group who wore protective masks.
“No entry or exit. The exception is made for qualified persons. People are being brought in specialized vehicles,” media quoted an officer on duty.
It said those under quarantine were from nine countries threatened by the virus known as COVID-19, including France.
Pamphile Bukuru, head of information, education and communication at the Ministry of Health, told reporters the quarantine was deemed necessary by the government to protect the entire national and international community from the spread of the virus.
“There are no suspected cases in the country.”
In Africa, COVID-19 cases have been reported in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Burkina Faso, Egypt, Algeria, Nigeria, Senegal, Cameroon, Tunisia, South Africa, Morocco. Ivory Coast became the latest to report its first case Wednesday.
Two out of 114 cases in Africa have resulted in death.
The virus was first detected in December in Wuhan, China.
The global death toll was reached 4,300, with 118,000 confirmed cases, according to the World Health Organization (WHO), which declared the outbreak “a pandemic.”