Rusesabagina among inmates vaccinated against Covid-19

On 10 March 2021 at 08:37

The ongoing countrywide vaccination exercise was yesterday rolled out at Mageragere Prison in Nyarugenge district, Kigali city where 2077 out of over 10,000 inmates accommodated at the facility were vaccinated. Paul Rusesabagina, 66, facing justice for terrorism charges is among inmates that received the vaccine.

Rusesabagina faces nine counts linked to terrorism, and he is co-accused with other 20 individuals who were allegedly involved in terror attacks that took place between 2018 and 2019 and claimed nine lives.

Vaccinated population range from the age bracket of 60 and above as well as inmates with chronic diseases.

These inmates expressed delight for receiving the vaccine noting that it is a gesture that the country takes care of them.

“I am overwhelmed with joy for the gesture as I heard that we are among people to be vaccinated. It reflects how President of the Republic loves us so much,” said Mucanda Vital Kivumbi, a 73-year old inmate.

As Kivumbi explained, he was always worried that he might catch Coronavirus due to congested population in prisons but was comforted when selected among first groups of people to be vaccinated.

Nirere Béatrice, 67, said he felt better after receiving the vaccine and thanked the Government for being far sighted to include inmates among first groups.

“Being vaccinated among first groups is something of great importance that induces smile. This gesture evidences how the Government plans for all people including inmates,” she noted.

RCS Commissioner General, CGP George Rwigamba has said that vaccinating inmates is among best ways to prevent the spread of Coronavirus in prisons.

“The vaccine is of great relevance because it is not easy to maintain social distancing in prisons. The vaccination will relive worries of catching new infections. We voice our appreciation to the Government that planned for inclusive distribution of vaccines,” he explained.

It is expected that over 12,000 inmates from different prisons will be vaccinated first while others will follow the suit later.

Rwanda kicked off countrywide vaccination program on 5th February 2021 after receiving 240,000 AstraZeneca and 102 960 Pfizer-BioNTech doses distributed through COVAX as well as 50,000 AstraZeneca doses donated by India last week.

So far, over 208,000 doses have been administered.