IMPORTANT: Should you have any of the COVID-19 symptoms like fever, cough, shortness of breath and breathing difficulties, please call the toll-free number 114, or dial *114# for automated screening, or email [email protected], or send a WhatsApp message to +250 788 20 20 80, or contact a medical professional in your respective area.
What is Coronavirus (COVID-19)?
The novel coronavirus (COVID-19) is a respiratory illness that has been declared a global pandemic by the World Health Organization. It affects people differently, with most exhibiting mild cases, especially in children and young adults. However, in some cases, it can result in serious illness, with about 20% of those infected requiring hospital care.
COVID-19 does not discriminate between nationalities, sexes, or ages. It is important to not let fear lead to stigma toward friends, neighbours, or members of the community. Treat all people with compassion and speak up if you hear others making statements that cause stigma against people in your community.
The Government of Rwanda has announced various measures to prevent further spread of Coronavirus. Please find all updates from the Rwanda Biomedical Center webpage.
UNHCR Rwanda is also reinforcing prevention measures through:
- Disseminating messages and visuals for the public on basic protective measures against the new coronavirus
- Strengthening infection, prevention and control activities across UNHCR and partners’ offices and the refugee camps/Transit Center/Reception Center
- Adopting a business and operations continuity plan for UNHCR including partners and designation of essential staff with specific responsibilities
- Preparing a COVID-19 preparedness and response plan
- Disseminating Information through different modalities of relevant information and actions taken on COVID-19
- Coordinating with relevant government authorities (Ministry of Health, Ministry in charge of Emergency Management) and WHO and other UN agencies.
Assistance Provided to refugees and asylum-seekers during COVID-19
UNHCR and partners assistance remain the same and free of charge. Refugees and asylum-seekers in camps and urban settings have access to the following services in new ways respecting the COVID-19 prevention measures.
- Remote counselling by phone, SMS or WhatsApp messages
- Protection services such as psycho-social counseling, legal support, SGBV, and Child Protection case management, etc., remotely or in-persons, where possible, and referrals between UNHCR and partners
- Medical assistance Health centers in the camps continue to provide access to primary, secondary, and tertiary health services. Urban refugees can access the national medical system through the Community-Based Health Insurance also known as “Mutuelle de Santé”.
- Exceptional Financial Assistance to the most vulnerable in urban areas
- Access to asylum and Refugee Status Determination