Rwanda has emerged the 6th among top ten countries in a COVID Performance Index of almost 100 countries for their successful handling of the coronavirus pandemic, with Britain and America near the bottom of the pile.
The Lowy Institute said its index published on Thursday excludes China, where the first cases were identified in December 2019, due to lack of publicly available data.
New Zealand, Vietnam and Taiwan have ranked the top three, while other countries in the top 10 include Thailand, Cyprus, Rwanda, Iceland, Australia, Latvia and Sri Lanka. These countries are said to have fewer reported cases and deaths both in aggregate and per capita terms.
In total, 98 countries were evaluated in the 36 weeks that followed their hundredth confirmed case of COVID-19, using data available to Jan. 9, 2021.
Fourteen-day rolling averages of new daily figures were calculated for confirmed cases, confirmed cases per million people, confirmed deaths, confirmed deaths per million people, confirmed cases as a proportion of tests, and tests per thousand people, the Lowy Institute said.
The report comes as world coronavirus cases surpass 100 million with the death toll exceeding 2 million.
The United States, with over 25 million confirmed cases, ranked 94 while India, with more than 11 million cases, was 86th. Britain, with the highest number of the deaths in Europe, stood at the 66th spot.
The index showed countries in Asia-Pacific proved the most successful in containing the pandemic as Europe and the United States were "quickly overwhelmed" by the rapid spread of COVID-19.
"Levels of economic development or differences in political systems between countries had less of an impact on outcomes than often assumed or publicised," the Sydney-based Lowy Institute said in its analysis.
"In general, countries with smaller populations, cohesive societies, and capable institutions have a comparative advantage in dealing with a global crisis such as a pandemic."
Rwanda confirmed the first Coronavirus patient on 14th March 2020. Since then, 14 166 people have been tested positive out of 853,238 sample tests of whom 9042 have recovered, 4941 are active cases while 183 have succumbed to the virus.
Since the first case was reported, Rwanda has put in place several measures to contain the spread of the virus. These include sensitization to adhere to health guidelines, establishing hand washing facilities, intensifying testing for Covid-19, deploying robots in Coronavirus management among others.
In a bid to contain further spread of the virus, Rwanda imposed inter-district lockdown early January 2021 followed by lockdown in Kigali city which has been identified as the major hotspot for new Coronavirus cases.
The Ministry of Health has recently announced that the country acquired five freezers that capacitated the country to administer all types of Covid-19 vaccines which are already being used by some countries. As per reports from the Ministry of Health, Coronavirus vaccines are expected in March 2021. People exposed to risks of catching the virus like health workers and others with chronic diseases have priority to receive vaccine in the first batch.
Coronavirus symptoms include coughing, flu, and difficulty in breathing. The virus is said to be transmitted through the mucous membranes of the respiratory tract.
Rwandans are urged to adhere to COVID-19 health guidelines, washing hands frequently using soaps and safe water, wearing face masks and respecting social distancing.