All SADC regional face-to-face meetings have been suspended and SADC member states are urged to use Skype and other technology for meetings, video conferences and webinars.

This follows a Southern African Development Community (SADC) Ministries of Health meeting held yesterday (March 9) in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, under the Tanzanian Minster of Health, Ummy Mwalimu.

Representatives from Angola, DRC, Lesotho, Malawi, Mauritius, Namibia, South Africa, Tanzania, and Zambia attended the meeting. The purpose of the meeting was to share existing knowledge and information on COVID-19.

At the meeting it was decided that all SADC member states would continue to collaborate with the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Africa Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC).

The meeting encouraged all member states to continue encouraging preventative measures such as handwashing. The People’s Republic of China has extended gratitude to SADC member states and the SADC Secretariat for standing in solidarity with China during the COVID-19 outbreak.

Rwanda implements six new instructions for COVID-19

The Ministry of Health in Rwanda has issued six new instruction for COVID-19 screening at all points of entry.

The new instructions are for immediate implementation by deployed health staff.

The instructions include that all travellers presenting COVID-19 symptoms and those coming from countries with confirmed cases of the virus will be taken to the nearest hospital.

The Ministry said suspected cases in self-quarantine should wear masks at all times and call the hotline (114) for further directions. Those who test positive will be taken to the COVID-19 Treatment Centre.

For all the new instructions, visit the Rwandan Ministry of Health’s Twitter account.

Ban on international conferences in Kenya due to COVID-19

The Kenyan government has temporarily lifted the ban on flights from Italy to the east African country for the evacuation of Italian citizens from Kenya.

“The government has with immediate effect banned all meetings, conferences and events of international nature in Kenya,” said the Ministry in the statement.

Isolation facilities have been established at the Kenyatta National Hospital in Nairobi and Mbgathi District Hospital. The Ministry of Health has continued to urge the public to remain vigilant and take precautionary measures.

The Ministry statement added that 5 000 more Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) units had been procured with the support of USAID.

Kenya’s Ministry of Health issued a statement on March 6 that 31 suspected cases of COVID-19 had been tested and came back negative.

Golf tournament in Nairobi suspended

The Magical Kenya Open international golf tour presented by Absa on the European Tour has been suspended due to the COVID-19 outbreak. The tournament was meant to take place from March 12 to 15 in Nairobi.

Chief Executive of the European Tour, Keith Pelley, said: “We are looking into the possibility of rescheduling the tournament at some point later in the season, but that remains simply a possibility right now. We have no definitive plans at this stage.”

Kenya Airways makes policy changes

Kenya Airways has announced that there will be a zero reservation change fee for all travel up to May 31 as well as for all fare types, including groups.  The Kenyan national carrier will implement a cancellation policy where cancellations for tickets booked up to May 31 and a full refund is permitted for cancelled flights to and from China. For more information on Kenya Airways changes, please visit Travelinfo.