Dr. Nsanzimana hints at closure of COVID-19 treatment centers, third vaccine dose

On 2 November 2021 at 04:56

Rwanda’s response to COVID-19 has started yielding big where the number of new cases and deaths has largely decreased plummeted compared to the past five months but the general public is urged to continue adhering to instituted preventive guidelines to consolidate gains.

The reduction is proven by the Ministry of Health’s daily reports on the status of COVID-19 across the country.

As of 17th July 2021 when Kigali City and eight districts were placed under lockdown; the country registered 1997 new infections with 69.6 percent of new cases found in Kigali.

On the following day, Rwanda recorded 2773 cases including 2225 from Kigali.

Ten days later, new infections dropped to 791 cases including 76 from Kigali. On the last day of lockdown, only 34 cases were found in Kigali out of 860 infections across the country.

Latest figures show that 29 people caught COVID-19 out of 8346 sample tests while one person succumbed to the virus yesterday.

Appearing in a talk show aired on RTV on Sunday 31st October 2021, the Director General of Rwanda Biomedical Center (RBC), Dr. Sabin Nsanzimana revealed that the current situation is promising but highlighted that it should not leave loopholes for complacency.

“It is true that we are taking sample tests in concerts and other public places. It has been observed that the COVID-19 positivity rate from sample tests taken in Kigali City remains below 0.5%,” he said.

“We are also confirming new cases among people coming to Kigali from other provinces. We encourage people with symptoms or who had direct contacts with COVID-19 patients to be careful or go for testing to lest he/she spreads the virus,” added Dr. Nsanzimana.

The positivity rate currently stands below 1% countrywide.

Dr. Nsanzimana urged people to keep soldiering on to avoid whatever that could hold back the country’s progress towards defeating the pandemic.

At the end of 2020, Rwanda had made commendable strides in containing the spread of COVID-19 but the Government later imposed lockdown early 2021 in some parts of the country as new cases started soaring due to complacency.

Dr. Nsanzimana has said that people should be mindful of adverse effects that would arise from holding parties.

“The festive season is unfolding when people want to throw parties. Taking examples of cases that happened in other countries, these behaviors often worsen the situation,” he noted.

Dr. Nsanzimana explained that Rwanda has learnt from other countries that the vaccine doesn’t offer full protection.

“The time might come when the vaccine will not be considered enough. We are assessing how vaccine recipients may receive another dose [the third vaccine dose] after six months. It is under process to confirm whether the vaccine developed immunity to protect recipients against new infections,” he said.

Dr. Nsanzimana attributed the decrease in COVID-19 cases and deaths to ramped up vaccination efforts and people’s efforts but urged the general public to remain compliant.

Closure of treatment centers

As of today, only two patients are admitted at COVID-19 treatment centers in Kigali City and Western Province.

Dr. Nsanzimana revealed that the two patients are admitted at Nyarugenge and Kibuye hospitals.

He explained that they are assessing how Nyarugenge Hospital may resume usual health services.

“We want to concert efforts so that Nyarugenge Hospital may not be used as COVID-19 treatment center again. When all patients recover, a designated hospital resumes usual health services but it can be reused for similar purposes when cases increase,” he said.

As of 1st November 2021, Kanyinya Hospital has started operating as the national referral hospital for COVID-19 cases while Nyarugenge Hospital is set to resume other health services.

Rwanda continues to ramp up vaccination efforts and mulls administering vaccine shots to people below the age of 18.

Dr. Nsanzimana has explained that research is underway to establish if children can be vaccinated.

Latest figures from the Ministry of Health show that a total of 2,032,065 people have been fully vaccinated while 3,884,463 received the first dose of COVID-19 vaccine since Rwanda began countrywide inoculation program on 5th March 2021.

The Director General of Rwanda Biomedical Center (RBC), Dr. Sabin Nsanzimana.