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Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19)

If you believe to have had close contact with a confirmed case or contact with someone currently being evaluated for COVID-19.

Call the TOLL FREE NUMBER 114 or send a Whatsapp message to +250 788 20 20 80.

The government of Rwanda has published a list of accredited private clinics that provide Covid-19 antigen rapid tests.

Hospital Emergency Contacts

Please click this link for a list of emergency contacts.

About Coronavirus

What is coronavirus?

Coronavirus (COVID-19) is the most recently discovered coronavirus. It can cause a respiratory infection and is highly contagious. Most people infected will have mild symptoms, but a small minority can become very unwell and need to go to hospital. There is governmental guidance on things you can do to prevent the spread of the disease and how you can protect yourself from catching it. Please follow link below:

Click here for Government guidance

How contagious is coronavirus?

We believe that coronavirus (COVID-19) is highly contagious. We don't know exactly how the virus spreads between people, but similar viruses are spread via cough droplets. Due to coronavirus being highly contagious, it is important to self-isolate or maintain social distancing if you have been advised to do so.

How does the coronavirus (COVID-19) spread?

You can catch coronavirus (COVID-19) from other people who have the virus, but exact details of how it spreads aren't clear yet. From what we know so far, the virus is most likely to be spread through close contact with an infected person. Guidelines suggest that close contact means spending 15 minutes within 2 metres or less with someone. The 2 main ways people can catch coronavirus are:

  • Breathing in tiny droplets containing the virus, produced when an infected person coughs, sneezes or breathes out.
  • Touching your eyes, nose or mouth after touching a surface or object that has been contaminated with droplets containing the virus. For example, touching a door handle or shaking hands and then touching your face.

There is no firm evidence suggesting the virus spreads through the air or through an infected person's poo, but as we learn more we will update our guidelines.

How serious is Coronavirus?

Current figures suggest that about 80% of people will recover from coronavirus (COVID-19) without needing special treatment. However, approximately 1 out of 6 people who get the virus become seriously ill and develop difficulty breathing.

People aged 70 and over, and those with underlying medical conditions such as high blood pressure, heart problems, lung conditions such as asthma and diabetes are more likely to develop serious illness.

Prevention

How do I prevent getting coronavirus (COVID-19)?

The general guidance is that there are several things you can do to reduce the spread of the infection and to help you to avoid catching it such as regularly washing your hands, covering your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze, avoiding close contact with people who are unwell and avoiding touching your eyes, nose, and mouth:

  • Regularly wash your hands with soap and water for no less than 20 seconds. At the very least wash your hands after going to the toilet, touching any dirty surfaces and when you get home or into work. If you can't access soap and water, use an alcohol-based gel (with at least 60% alcohol).
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze and dispose of the tissue immediately. Ideally, you should also wash your hands. If a tissue is unavailable, cough into your bent elbow, NOT your hands. We do not recommend using a handkerchief, as the virus can survive on it.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are unwell. You should be at least 1 metre (3ft), but ideally 2 metres (6ft) apart from anybody who is coughing or sneezing, as you could breathe in the droplets that carry the virus.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth. Your hands could be contaminated with the virus and it could travel into your body.
  • Clean and Disinfect Clean and disinfect surfaces around your home and work.

Advice for caregivers

If you are caring for someone with COVID-19 and using a face mask, make sure you wash your hands thoroughly before putting it on and follow these steps:

  • Make sure the mask covers over your nose and mouth completely, and don’t touch the mask once it is on
  • If you need to touch your mask, clean your hands before and after
  • If the mask becomes damp, replace it with a new one
  • When taking your mask off, don’t touch the front of it
  • Throw used face masks away immediately into a closed bin and don’t forget to wash your hands after

Symptoms

What are the signs and symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19)?

The most common symptoms are:

  • A high temperature/Fever – this means you feel hot to touch on your chest or back (you do not need to measure your temperature). Your normal body temperature is around 37 degrees (Celsius). A fever is when that rises above 37.8 degrees Celsius (100 degrees Fahrenheit) and it is a normal reaction to many infections including COVID-19. It helps stimulate your body's immune system so that it is better able to fight an infection.
  • A new, continuous cough – A cough is one of the most common symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19). It is usually dry, but sometimes you can also bring up phlegm (mucus). The cough associated with coronavirus is known to be a new, continuous cough. This means it is a cough you have not had before and that you are coughing for more than an hour more than 3 times in 24 hours.
  • Shortness of breath - sometimes described as a feeling of tightening in the chest, air hunger, or difficulty breathing. This is usually mild (you may find you're breathing a little harder doing regular activities compared to normal).

Infected people can also experience tiredness, aches and pains, a runny nose, sore throat, headache, and diarrhea.

Around 85% of people are likely to either have no symptoms or mild ones and recover without needing treatment. Approximately 15% of people will be very unwell, experiencing more severe symptoms such as more severe breathing difficulties (for example having difficulty speaking in full sentences without having to catch your breath) and chest tightness and might require hospital treatment, which could include admission into intensive care.

Individuals with underlying medical conditions such as heart problems, diabetes, lung disease or high blood pressure, and those aged 70 and above are more likely to develop a serious illness.

It is important to remember that as coronavirus (COVID-19) is a viral infection, it cannot be treated with antibiotics.

When can I talk to a doctor about COVID-19?

You can talk to a doctor In case you have the COVID -19 symptoms or have been in touch with an infected person. You are also advised to call 114 to get tested. Our clinicians are trained to recognise the symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19) and to offer you advice.

FAQs

How is Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) treated?

Until now, there is no specific treatment for the new coronavirus disease. However, many of the symptoms can be treated and the treatment is based on the patient's clinical condition.

Who is at risk of developing severe illness?

As far as we know, older people and others with pre-existing medical conditions like heart disease, cancer, high blood pressure, lung disease or diabetes are likely to develop serious illness.

When should I worry of being at risk of catching COVID-19

The risk is high when you are in a location where there is a COVID-19 outbreak. Persons who are staying or visiting the areas where Coronavirus is spreading are at a bigger risk of catching the disease.

People should comply with the instructions taken by the Government on large gatherings and local movement to reduce the risk of catching the coronavirus.

Should I worry if I receive a package from any locations where Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) has been reported?

No, the risk of an infected person contaminating goods is low and the risk of catching coronavirus from a package that has been exposed to various conditions and temperatures is also low.

Is COVID-19 transmitted in the air?

The virus that causes COVID-19 is mainly transmitted through droplets when an infected person coughs, sneezes, or speaks. From the WHO source, those droplets are too heavy to hang in the air. The 2 metre social distancing is recommended to avoid breathing in that virus or touching a contaminated area and then touching your eyes, nose or mouth before washing your hands.

Myth Busters

Does exposing myself to the sun or a higher temperature than 25 degrees celsius prevent me from getting coronavirus disease (COVID- 19)?

To expose yourself to a higher temperature does not prevent you from coronavirus disease. COVID-19 can affect anyone regardless of the weather, no matter how sunny or hot the weather is. Kindly make sure you follow the instructions to protect yourself, wash minutely your hands frequently, avoid touching your face, nose, and mouth.

Can I recover from the coronavirus disease (COVID-19)?

Yes, you can recover from COVID-19. Most of the people who were reported positive have recovered from COVID-19 and eliminated the virus from their bodies. When you are infected, ensure that you treat your symptoms. In case you cough, have a fever or have difficulties to breathe, immediately call 114 or WhatsApp +250 788 20 20 80 for help.

I can hold my breath for 10 seconds and more without coughing. Does it mean that I don’t have COVID-19?

The best way of confirming COVID 19 is with a laboratory test. Dry cough, fever, and tiredness are the most common symptoms. Some of the infected people have severe breathing difficulties. Holding your breath can have serious side effects.

Can I use a thermometer to detect if someone is infected with the new coronavirus (COVID-19)?

A thermometer can detect people who have developed fever because of the infection caused by Coronavirus (COVID-19) but can’t detect someone who is infected with no fever yet. Please note that it takes some days for someone who is infected to become sick and develop a fever.

African blood and black skin can’t be infected by the new Coronavirus disease (COVID-19)

A lot of African countries have reported cases of COVID 19 in their countries. Local people are infected in those countries, which shows that the virus can affect anyone on earth regardless of the color of the skin. To protect yourself and your loved ones, wash your hands frequently to eliminate the viruses that may be on your hands.