The Rwanda Biomedical Centre has said that it aims to have about 5,000 people tested in the Covid-19 random testing exercise that began today in different parts of the city by the end of next week.
RBC kick-started the program on Thursday, July 2, looking to randomly select and screen people on the streets of Kigali, and the entry points of the city; as medics continue to analyze the status of the Covid-19 pandemic.
The exercise took place at Amahoro National Stadium. Here, medics among other assisting officials were stationed on the streets, approaching people, asking them to consent to be tested.
Meant to run through to the next week, the program will cover other places in the city including Nyamirambo (Biryogo), Kicukiro (near IPRC), and various entry points to the city like Gitikinyoni, Rugende and Gahanga.
According to Dr. Sabin Nsanzimana, the Director-General of RBC, medics hope to have carried out about 2000 random tests in the city by Friday, July 3, and in the next week, the tests are altogether expected to reach about 5000.
The testing exercise takes about 5 minutes on average for each person, and they can get results in about 48 hours.
People that are tested are required to leave their contact information behind so that medics will be able to follow them up in case their tests come out positive.
The exercise is carried out in the morning hours when people are going to work, and in the evening when they are returning to their homes.
Dr. Nsanzimana said that the program will provide them with more information concerning the Covid-19 pandemic in the country, and assist them in making respective decisions in response to it.
By the morning hours of Thursday, June 2 when this newspaper spoke with Dr. Nsanzimana, he said the random testing was going on smoothly and people were responding well to it,
"We thank those that were tested today. People that we approached to come to get tested have responded well," he said.
All tests are free of charge. However, (if payments were considered) a test could cost about $50 to $100.
Gerald Bayizere, a taxi-moto operator who is one of the people that were tested on Thursday praised the initiative,
"It is good because you get to know our state of life; and if you are positive of Covid-19, you get treatment before you become ill," he said.
Nordine Imanirahari, a lawyer was also among those tested. He lauded the program, saying it facilitates those that are tested to know their status so that if they are positive they will not infect others.