Rwanda: WHO Names Rwanda Among Countries That Prevented Large-Scale Coronavirus Outbreak

The World Health Organization (WHO) has listed Rwanda among countries, globally, that have managed to prevent coronavirus outbreaks on a large-scale.

The list was mentioned by WHO Director-General, Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus opening remarks at the media briefing on COVID-19 on Monday, 27 July.

Rwanda was listed among other countries such as Cambodia, New Zealand, Thailand, Viet Nam, and islands in the Pacific and Caribbean, Dr Tedros also mentioned countries that brought large outbreaks under control - like Canada, China, Germany and the Republic of Korea.

Rwanda has so far recorded 1,879 positive cases of Covid-19 since March 14 when the first case was recorded. Some 975 have recovered and five have died.

A few days after the first case was confirmed, Rwanda imposed a total lockdown on March 21 that ran up until May 1. Internal and external movements were restricted with only essential services operating.

Rwanda has used "pool testing" to examine nasal swabs from 20 to 25 people in one go, testing many more samples at once. All the swabs in that pool are tested individually to identify the infected person.

A positive result is immediately taken to one of the treatment centres that scattered across the country.

Over 248,000 tests have been taken with a daily record of 7000. Rwanda Biomedical Center plans to double daily tests as one of the effective ways to contain Covid-19 pandemic.

Public cooperation

In a recent interview with CNN, the Chief Executive Officer of Rwanda Development Board, Claire Akamanzi, stated that the cooperation between the government and citizens has been one of the most important factors that enabled Rwanda to prevent a Covid-19 outbreak on a large-scale.

"It has been extremely important to get the cooperation of Rwandans to change their behaviours and abide by the guidelines," she said.

Rwanda will open international flights on August 1, in addition to internal movements that have been eased since May.

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