How Rwanda, Kenya & SA’s COVID-19 responses compare

Rwanda – 5 confirmed cases of COVID-19


  • Places of worship closed from Sunday 15 March 2020
  • Schools & higher education institutions closed from Monday 16 March 2020
  • Employees should be permitted to work from home wherever possible, in consultation with their employees  
  • Large gatherings, such as weddings & sporting events postponed & number of people attending burial ceremonies should be minimised
  • Unnecessary movements should be avoided. Public transport must not be overcrowded
  • Businesses & restaurants to stay open; must allow for adequate distance between customers (at least one metre)

Kenya – 3 confirmed cases of COVID-19


  • Kenya suspends all inbound travel from countries with coronavirus
  • Only Kenyan citizens & foreigners with valid visas allowed in Kenya for next 30 days
  • Persons who arrived in Kenya in past 14 days must self-quarantine. Those presenting with symptoms, such as fever present themselves to nearest health facilty for testing
  • Learning suspended in all learning institutions. Day schools from 16th March, boarding schools from the 18th March & universities from the 20th March
  • Government offices, businesses & companies encouraged to allow staff to work from home, except those in critical or eseential services
    Limit congestion in public transport, wherever possible
  • Limit cash use – people asked to use cards and transfers
  • Citizens to avoid crowds at weddings funerals churches & shopping malls, limit visitors to hospitals
  • Hospitals & shopping malls to provide water soap & hand sanitisers plus disinfected

    South Africa – 61 confirmed cases of COVID-19
  • Travel ban from foreign nationals from high-risk countries from 18th March 2020.
  • SA citizens advised to refrain from travel to or through high-risk countries effective immediately.
  • SA citizens returning from high risk countries will have testing and self isolation.
  • All foreign nationals having arrived into the country since mid-February from high-risk areas must be tested
  • All spheres of government must not take non-essential travel.
  • Gathering of more than 100 people prohibited
  • Schools closed from 18 March until after the “easter” weekend break.
  • Visits to all correctional facilities cancelled for the next 30 days.
  • All businesses must ensure all measures taken to intensify hygiene control
  • All shopping centres must ensure all measures taken to intensify hygiene control
  • Capacity of health centres being increased nationally
  • National command council has been established, meeting 3 times a week, chaired by the president
  • Cabinet is finalising a package of varying fiscal measures for business labour etc

All three nations called on citizens to improve their hygiene, such as
– Frequent hand washing for 20 seconds or longer (ordinary soap is the most effective product for hand-washing followed by alcohol-based sanitiser
– Social distancing
– Sneezing with a closed hand into a tissue or elbow
– Avoiding close contact with those who have flu like symptoms
– Practice the “elbow” greeting and not shake hands.


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