As of March 26 Burundi had not reported a single case of Covid-19. In a national address on the state broadcaster, government spokesman Prosper Ntahorwamiye warned media houses against spreading false information on the pandemic.
“Burundi has enough capacity to conduct the tests and the general public should only follow instructions from the Ministry of Health,” he said.
But despite government reassurances, Tanzania’s Minister for Health Ummy Ally Malimu said that one of the recorded cases in Tanzania was a truck driver from Kagera region.
“I want to emphasise on this so people can take measures. The truck driver entered Tanzania through the Kabanga border between Burundi and Tanzania and he used to drive between DR Congo, Burundi and Tanzania,” the minister said.
Burundi’s Health minister Thaddee Ndikumana tweeted that investigations have been launched on whether the truck driver was from Burundi and if he had been in contact with anyone.
Burundi has suspended all commercial flights at the Melchior Ndadaye international airport in Bujumbura. However weddings, meeting and conferences, and entertainment and socialisation are still going on.
“We don’t know if the virus is already spreading among us because the government is yet to announce any case,” said a bus driver in Bujumbura.
As of Wednesday, Sioni market, one of the long-distance bus terminus in Bujumbura, especially for travellers to the DRC was empty, as the latter closed its borders. Burundi has extended ban on flights for seven days, starting March 28.