Rwanda: Overcrowded Kigali Villages at High Risk for Covid-19

Over the last two months, there has been an upsurge in the number of Covid-19 cases reported in Kigali City.

This is a shift from the hotspots, which were the border towns of Rusumo in the East and Rusizi in the West.

To contain the spread of the virus, the areas where positive cases have been recorded were put under lockdown for an initial two-week period.

Some of the villages have seen their lockdowns lifted after the disease was efficiently managed.

The highrisk villages are in Muhima sector, Nyarugenge District and Kigarama sector in Kicukiro District.

According to Dr Sabin Nsanzimana, these neighbourhoods are mostly overcrowded and have poor sanitation.

"Some of these areas are overpopulated, you find several small, overcrowded makeshift marketplaces, small retail shops and other places where people gather, and with poor sanitation," he says.

Nsanzimana pointed out that such conditions make it difficult to practice social distancing.

"These poor infrastructures make it harder for them to abide by the Covid-19 measures and hence contamination is easier here."

Nsanzimana disclosed that Covid-19 testing in these villages has been intensified to quickly detect positive cases and isolate them to avoid more transmissions.

"Every day, we have to conduct between 800 and 1,000 tests (from these neighbourhoods). This is done very systematically, and we make sure that we focus on some parts of these villages that have demonstrated a higher number of Coronavirus patients," Nsanzimana told The New Times.

He points out that a special focus is made on families that record multiple members testing positive for the virus.

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