Rwanda: Two New COVID-19 Labs Set Up in Kigali, Huye

Government has established two new Covid-19 testing laboratories in Kigali and Huye, Southern Province in bid to further decentralize testing of the novel coronavirus and contain it.

"Laboratory diagnostic capacity is essential to respond effectively to Covid-19. We are happy to open two new labs at CHUB (University Teaching Hospital of Butare), Southern Province, and Rwanda Military Hospital in Kigali City," Dr Sabin Nsanzimana, Director General of Rwanda Biomedical Center (RBC) tweeted on Tuesday, July 14.

RBC said that each of these new infrastructures has the capacity of handling 500 sample tests per day.

The new labs add to recent ones established in Rusizi and Rubavu districts last month and earlier this month respectively.

So far there are eight testing labs in the country; two in Kigali city and six others located in Kirehe, Rubavu, Rwamagana, Nyagatare, Rusizi and Huye districts.

The country has continuously increased Covid-19 testing capabilities. For instance, in the first days of the outbreak of Covid-19, Rwanda used to conduct below 1000 sample tests a day whereas so far the country conducts an average of approximately 4,000 sample tests daily.

As of now, the country has conducted a total of 192,379 sample tests since outbreak of the pandemic in the country in mid-March

Significance of these developments

Dr Menelas Nkeshimana of University Teaching Hospital of Kigali (CHUK), who is part of the medical task force team fighting Covid-19 in the country said the decentralisation of Covid-19 testing exercise will help contain the pandemic.

"In all situations where there is an outbreak of a given pandemic or epidemic, the first thing to do is to conduct tests wherever there are suspected cases that can lead to further spread of this given disease. On this note, decentralizing testing capacities will help the country to know the state of the pandemic in the country and act accordingly," he said.

Nkeshimana also noted that: "The move will also ensure that results of conducted sample tests are disclosed on time and that appropriate measures of treating or dispatching patients is also timely hence solving delays caused by long distances travelled to and from testing labs located elsewhere."

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