The status of COVID-19 after lifting lockdown in Kigali, eight districts

On 10 August 2021 at 02:00

It has been ten days since the Government of Rwanda lifted 15-day lockdown in Kigali City and eight districts of Burera, Gicumbi, Kamonyi, Musanze, Nyagatare, Rubavu, Rwamagana and Rutsiro.

The lockdown put businesses on a standstill and affected people’s lives but health officials explained that it was needed to reduce positive cases.

Current figures show that the positivity rate started decreasing slightly even though the number of new cases has not come below 400.

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.

Despite the decrease in new cases, the positivity rate was still high at 9% from sample tests taken on the last day before lifting the lockdown yet it should not go beyond 3 percent as the Minister of Health, Dr. Daniel Ngamije explained.

Since the lockdown was lifted, Rutsiro district has been performing well with only 24 cases registered between 1st and 6th August 2021 down from 84 recorded in six days before lockdown.

Kigali city identified as the major hotspot for new cases has higher number of infections compared to other districts but the situation is gradually improving.

As per daily health updates, the city registered less than 100 daily infections last week down from 200 and 2000 before the lockdown.

Nyamagabe district is reported among districts with surging new infections from 15 cases on 1st August to 86 on 6th August 2021.

Muhanga, Ruhango, Huye, Nyanza, Rusizi, Karongi and Ngororero are among other districts with worrying positivity rates where some sectors were put under lockdown until 10th August 2021.

Figures from the Ministry of Health released on 9th August show that the positivity rate stands at 7.3 percent from 6.7% of 8th August 2021.

Despite the slight rise, the rate had decreased to 5.2% on 5th and 5.3% on 4th August 2021.

Ten days after lifting lockdown in Kigali and the eight districts of Burera, Gicumbi, Kamonyi, Musanze, Nyagatare, Rubavu, Rwamagana and Rutsiro; the positivity rate has slightly decreased but compliance with instituted measures remains of utmost importance to contain transmission of the virus.

The World Health Organization (WHO) advises governments that before reopening activities, rates of COVID-19 positivity cases should remain at 5% or lower for at least 14 days.

As he recently made a presentation on the status of the pandemic in districts put under lockdown; Minister Ngamije explained that the situation is difficult to control when the positivity rate is still above 3%.

“We want to bring the positivity rate below 3 percent. At this stage, we can rest assured that relevant health institutions can control the situation because such number would not be exceeding our capacity,” he said.

As of yesterday, 898 succumbed to COVID-19 since the pandemic emerged in Rwanda on 14th March 2020.

The statement released last night also shows that 554 people have caught the virus out of 7563 sample tests, 8 recovered while 46 are critically ill.

A total of 649,935 people have been vaccinated since Rwanda began countrywide inoculation program on 5th march 2021.

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.