Rwanda: Covid-19 Testing Opens to General Public

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The Ministry of Health on Monday, July 20 disclosed that voluntary testing services for Covid-19 will soon be accessible to the general public.

This was said in a press conference that brought together journalists with the ministers of Health, Local Government, Trade and Industry, and Rwanda National Police to shed light on how the country is responding to Covid-19.

Currently, this service is only given to people who come into contact with confirmed Covid-19 cases and people with high-risk of contracting this virus such as cross-border traders and truck-drivers and repatriated Rwandans among others.

Other people who have benefitted from testing are those selected during randomized testing exercises.

"We will be soon providing Covid-19 testing to Rwandans and foreigners who are going outside the country," Dr Daniel Ngamije, Minister for Health, highlighted at the news conference.

According to Ngamije, this service will be provided at the National Reference Laboratory, located in Kigali, at a cost of around Rwf50,000 per test to Rwandans and $100 per test to foreigners.

Though the minister did not specify the date at which this service shall commence, a source from Rwanda Biomedical Centre (RBC) told The New Times that it may kick-off this week, adding that everyone willing will be allowed to access it.

"There are some guidelines that are yet to be approved by RBC in this regard, but we expect this process to end this week and then begin providing the service. It shall be accessed to everyone who is in need of it as long as they have the means," said Julien Mahoro Niyigabira, Head of Communication at RBC.

He added that genuine results are obtained after two Covid-19 tests, leaving a period of 7 days between the two tests.

The testing service is being introduced a few days prior to the resumption of commercial flights on August 1, where people coming in the country will be among others required to go under a mandatory Covid-19 test upon arrival.

Those going outside the country are also expected to undergo this test depending on health guidelines set by their destination.

Rwanda so far has a total of 1,582 confirmed Covid-19 cases of whom 834 have recovered.

Also, five people have so far succumbed to the pandemic.

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