Forty-two (42) cases of COVID-19 have been officially reported as of May 17, 2020, of which eleven (20) have been cured and one died on April 12, 2020. The fifteen new Covid-19 cases were reported on May 17, 2020. They are in good health and are persons who were in contact with at least one of the previous cases. The authorities are now tracking all those who have been in contact with the new cases.
Measures taken to minimize the risk of the pandemic breaking out in Burundi have been very limited: The population has been instructed to follow some basic rules of limited social distancing and frequent handwashing. Hand sanitizers and water for handwashing have been installed in public places. Travelers from high-risk countries are required to undergo quarantine, and commercial flights are still banned (cargo flights still operate). Borders remain closed, except for merchandise. The ban will be reviewed depending on how the pandemic evolves.
Burundi’s health care system is extremely weak. The authorities have asked hospitals to make beds available for potential cases (20 for each national hospital and 5 for each local one). Only one lab in the nation can do Covid-19 tests with minimal capacity. The authorities are currently working with the WHO and World Bank to strengthen capacity in the health sector.