Rwandans reassured over Omicron variant

On 3 January 2022 at 12:55

Rwanda Biomedical Center (RBC) has revealed that conducted assessment shows that the new variant of COVID-19 dubbed Omicron spreads faster but does not seriously affect patients. The institution has also reassured Rwandans that the current vaccination efforts where a large number of Rwandans have been vaccinated is promising that the situation will be controllable.

Rwandans have been worried about new variant which saw COVID-19 preventive measures tightened due to spiking positive cases.

Following the sharp rise in new cases particularly in Kigali City, the Government extended curfew hours, suspended bars and live bands among other stringent measures.

As he appeared in a RTV talk show on Sunday revolving around the status of the pandemic; the Director of vaccine programs unit at RBC, Dr. Hassan Sibomana reassured Rwandans that things have not yet fallen apart.

“We should not sink into worries over the Omicron variant because it is not more severe than other experienced variants. It has been observed that it spreads faster but patients do not fall critically ill,” he said.

Dr. Sibomana mainly attributed the minimal effect of the variant to the fact that a large number of the population has been vaccinated.

“Having positive cases without critically ill patients is a fruitful result of the vaccine because we have already administered vaccine doses to a significant number particularly in Kigali City,” he noted.

“As you know, we have vaccinated over 90% of the population in Kigali City. Besides, a large number of people have been vaccinated in secondary cities while other districts have not been left behind,” added Dr. Sibomana.

He expressed optimism that COVID-19 will be beaten like any other pandemics.

“I am expressing optimism that the pandemic will be defeated because we usually do not expect to defeat virus-caused pandemics in one year or two. It is difficult but we are hopeful that we can beat infectious diseases like the case for measles which was defeated with vaccines over time,” Dr. Sibomana revealed.

As of today, Rwanda administered the first dose of COVID-19 vaccine to 7,707,304 people while 5,504,040 have been fully vaccinated since Rwanda began countrywide inoculation program.

Among others; a total of 196,636 people have received the third booster dose of COVID-19.

The Ministry of Health indicates that the country has enough stock to administer the second and booster doses of COVID-19.

The Ministry of Health says that the country has enough stock to administer the second and booster doses of COVID-19.

More vaccine doses are expected to be delivered gradually in coming days.

As the world continues to mitigate effects of COVID-19, Rwandans are reminded of the critical importance to adhere to preventive measures including proper wearing of face masks, maintaining social distancing and washing hands frequently among others.

Over 90 percent of Kigali City dwellers have been vaccinated.