What to do If you test positive for COVID-19 ?

Most people present mild illness and can be followed remotely and recover at home without medical care.

  • If you test positive, don’t panic, stay home and strictly isolate yourself from family members especially the most vulnerable (elderly or those with pre-existing conditions); do not receive visitors during the self-isolation period and postpone all your appointments/engagements until you get completely cured.
  • If you have to leave one place to the other, (Ex: from health facility/testing site to your home), wear a mask, stay 1m away from others, wash your hands frequently, and clean all touched surfaces.
  • All the members of your family are strongly advised to take a COVID-19 test at the nearest health facility (health center) or private clinic.
  • Family members must intensify the practice of preventive measures even at home (face coverings, distancing and frequent hand hygiene)
  • The COVID-19 Taskforce has updated its follow-up technology using advanced electronic systems such as Weltel platform, and we reassure you that you are supported by a strong response team to safeguard that you get a speedy recovery from COVID-19.
  • Try to remain with positive thoughts, engage in some self-entertaining activities such as reading books, listening to the radio., Although you cannot meet others physically during isolation time, it is always possible to meet them virtually using the current available technologies.
  • At the end of 10 days follow up at home; you can be permitted to leave your house. The medical team will direct you to the nearest health facility (public or private clinic.) to access a control rapid antigen test

While there is currently no cure for COVID-19, you may take some medicine to relieve mild symptoms:

  • Common flu medications can be used to relieve some mild symptoms such as acetaminophen/paracetamol, vitamin C, medications for relief of throat discomfort (i.e. strepsils losanges), anti-decongestant (i.e. paidoterin syrup etc.) and cough mixtures (i.e. syrups of broncalene, ascoril etc.).
  • Be sure to follow directions of your Doctor and pharmacist.
  • Oral antibiotics such as augmentin tablets, might be prescribed by the medical team that is taking care of you, especially if fever is not resolving or if any concern that you might develop “pneumonia”.

  • It is very important to eat a well-balanced meal (with plenty fruits and vegetables) and drink sufficient amount of water (for an adult person: 2 – 3 liters of water every day).
  • For the main course meals, please avoid cold drinks/food or those that are hard to digest, consider light and nutritious meals such as hot soups or with a mixture of fresh vegetables from your garden or local market.
  • Food and drinks rich in vitamin C would be a great selection, such as lemon tea or fresh juice, with a bit of ginger (tangawizi) for those who would prefer it.
  • Avoid eating spicy food as it can cause stomach pain.
  • You can also mix tea or hot milk with honey depending on preferences. Although these hot beverages cannot directly kill the virus, we note that the overall gain is to relieve symptoms as you remain well hydrated and boost your immune system.

  • While you don’t need to be in bed all times, you should get plenty of rest; avoid overworking yourself as this is the time to let your body recuperate
  • Alcohol intake and tobacco use are strictly prohibited, as they might worsen your disease and aggravate the severity.
  • A moderate amount of stretching exercise and exercise within the permitted area at home would be sufficient; a daily 30min workout at least every day is good to keep your energized. Please be sure to do it in an open space, away from other members of your household to keep them safe.

It is very important to have at hand the telephone numbers of your local community healthcare worker (umujyanama w’ubuzima, CHW), Isibo and Cell leaders, as they are an integral part of COVID-19 response in Rwanda. It is very encouraged that you exchange news related to your illness on daily basis, and they might also be able to answer to all queries that you might have. Feel free to limit the number of follow-up phone calls you want to receive on daily basis. COVID-19 care in Rwanda is now decentralized from the National level to the community level, and MoH and RBC are working closely with these structures that are close to your homes to ensure you remain safe and recover from COVID-19 as quick as possible.

  • You can also reach to the Home Based Care Coordinator on the telephone number 0789198119, or the COVID-19 Hotline 114, and our team will be able to assist you 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
  • It is very important to report any unusual sign or symptom that might occur during your illness such as continuous fever, shortness of breath, worsening cough or any other serious discomfort that you may experience. If any alarming sign develop during the course of your illness, please call any of our hotlines and our field team composed of clinicians will reach out to you for an advanced assistance.
  • We are dealing with a new disease for which science is still evolving. We are yet to know more about this virus, and our scientific group is meeting on weekly basis to elaborated updated briefs that would benefit the general population of Rwanda. However, at the moment we know that some signs may last long after the virus has been cleared, such as the loss of the smell and taste that might be gained gradually over months.
  • We acknowledge that there are a lot of rumors related to COVID-19 disease that circulate freely on the internet, and we caution you against implementing any new measure that has not been discussed, agreed and prescribed by our COVID-19 clinical team.
  • Please consult regularly our RBC website (www.rbc.gov.rw) and Twitter handle, as we will be posting new health tips and news regularly as science evolves. Our priority is to keep you safe.