He revealed this yesterday in a talk show aired on Radio Rwanda. Minister Ngamije explained that Rwanda upgraded its capacity to detect new Coronavirus variant in August 2020.
“In August last year, we upgraded our capacity for Coronavirus testing to get deeper information because viruses might metamorphose into new variants more resistant than other viruses of similar genetic code. It might be more quickly transmissible because it reproduces fast and has string resistance to vaccines and drugs,” he said.
After upgrading capacity, Minister Ngamije revealed that Rwanda has been testing people with different Coronavirus variants that do not severely resist drugs.
The exercise targeting to detect people with new variant was carried out to 400 people among COVID-19 patients.
Dr. Ngamije explained that two people were last week tested with the new Coronavirus that emerged in the United Kingdom while 10 others were tested positive with the new variant found in South Africa.
“We identified 12 people of whom two had symptoms of the new Coronavirus variant found in the United Kingdom while ten had symptoms of the new variant found in South Africa. These new variants were found from people from abroad whose sample tests were taken as they arrived at Kigali International Airport,” he said.
Minister Ngamije revealed that these patients were taken for treatment in isolated place lest they transmit the virus to others and recovered.
“As usual, we don’t release people tested positive but rather take them to planned treatment facility where they receive special treatment. We treated them until they recovered, tested negative and released them to resume their activities,” he said.
Apart from these foreigners, Minister Ngamije underscored that no one from inside the country has been tested with the new variant.
Rwanda confirmed the first COVID-19 case on 14th March 2020. Since then, 20828 have been tested positive of whom 19 180 have recovered, 1358 are active cases while 290 have succumbed to the virus.