Rwanda: Covid-19 - RBC Rolls Out Plan to Test Curfew Violators

According to the RBC Director-General, over 200 violators were tested on the same night his institution embarked on the plan.

Rwanda Biomedical Centre (RBC) on Thursday, August 13, carried out mass testing for Covid-19 among a group of people caught violating curfew in Kigali.

According to Dr. Sabin Nsanzimana, RBC Director-General, over 200 violators were tested on the same night his institution embarked on the plan.

The testing, Nsanzimana explained, was carried out at all the four centres in City of Kigali including, Amahoro, Kicukiro and Kigali stadiums as well as the Independent University of Kigali (ULK) ground in Gisozi, where the violators are taken. The centres are wide spaces used to control movements beyond 9pm, where those caught violating the 9pm restriction are educated on the pandemic, enlightened on the directives and reminded of prevention practices. Dr. Nsanzimana explained that they are working with Rwanda National Police (RNP) to add clusters of violators on the list of those to be sampled and tested. "These people moving beyond 9pm, some of them every day, raise questions when you are dealing with such a pandemic," Dr. Nsanzimana pointed out, "We are dealing with a deadly virus, so you can't take any chances; the results will tell us the status of this specific group, but they will know their status as well. We have started with those, who move beyond 9pm but we will also extend it to others including those who are caught not wearing facemasks." He observed that such violations can give room to further spread of the virus, adding that testing many people or clusters helps to trace contacts, as well as to understand and respond to the problem. "The pandemic has already taken eight of our people; it is still in our midst, there is no room for complacency; it's not yet out of hand, but this is not the time to lean back, every directive means something in fighting this pandemic and should be respected," he said.

RNP spokesperson, CP John Bosco Kabera said that no one deserves to spend a night in these centres as everyone should be home. He, however, commended the increasing level of compliance. "Previously, we used to have hundreds of people in these centres, today we see only tens of violators. Equally, motorists used to be many every night but the number has dropped tremendously to not more than 10 motorists every night," CP Kabera said. He observed that the reduction is largely attributed to education programmes in these centres thus recording rare cases of recidivism.

The move, according to Nsanzimana, follows a significant increase in the country's Covid-19 testing measures.

In total, Rwanda has carried out 319,295 Covid-19 sample tests, 2200 of whom are positive cases with a total of 1,558 recovered cases.

The country's Covid-19 deaths remain at eight people.

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