Burundi suspends all flights, screens returnees and visitors for Covid-19

Saturday March 21 2020

Burundi coronavirus

A medical staff member measures a man's temperature as a preventive measure against the Covid-19 coronavirus on his arrival of repatriation in Gatumba, on border with the DR Congo, in Burundi, on March 18, 2020. PHOTO | ONESPHORE NIBIGIRA | AFP 

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Burundi’s minister in charge of Public Security, Alain-Guillaume Bunyoni, has suspended all flights in and out of the country’s Melchior Ndadaye International Airport to prevent the spread of the coronavirus into the country.

“The borders will remain open and we strongly advise citizens not to travel to countries that already have Covid-19 cases,” said Mr Bunyoni.

Burundi is yet to register a case of Covid-19, however all the bordering countries of DR Congo, Rwanda and Tanzania already confirmed cases of Covid-19.

“We are working tirelessly to make sure that whoever enters the country from the airport or any other border point is fully screened,” said Thadee Ndikumana, Burundi’s Health Minister.

More than 250 Burundians, 98 of whom were Burundian students studying in Rwanda, returned home.

“They were all screened and so far there was no sign of Covid-19,” he added.