Rwanda, has for the last two days had her coronavirus cases recorded in triple figures.
The country Tuesday hit a new record of the highest number (861) of new infections in a single day since the first case was confirmed in March 2020. While on Monday the government said 622 people had tested positive, another first.
Uganda, a neighbor to Rwanda is currently facing a surge in the coronavirus infections with new infections rising up to 1000 a day on average.
There has also been an increase in the number of people succumbing to the virus. Official figures indicate that 714 Ugandans have died since March 2020.
The uncontrollable increase, health officials say is attributed to among others, delta variant of Covid-19 that first surfaced in India which is feared to have mutated into a more virulent version called Delta Plus.
As a precaution measure, Rwanda’s Minister of Health Dr. Daniel Ngamije has revealed his government is conducting a study intended to among others track the existence of Delta variant of Covid-19 in the country.
While appearing on state radio on Tuesday to give insights on the new coronavirus resolutions announced Monday, June 21 by the government,Ngamije noted that much as there are no signs of its existence in the country, there is an ongoing initiative that is expected to prove, with scientific data, if there are no local cases.
“There is an ongoing initiative that seeks to detect the Indian variant, [Delta variant] if it is already in the country, but as it stands, nothing shows that it is in the country,” he said.
The minister explained that since the outbreak of the pandemic, Rwanda has reported only variants from the UK and South Africa, whose cases were treated before any local transmission.
“All the cases were found in arriving travelers and they were also tested from the airport. This allowed us to prevent any local transmission.”
The coronavirus has thousands of variants that have been identified. But several, including variants first found in the United Kingdom, South Africa and Brazil, are highly transmissible and have sparked concerns that vaccines may be less effective against them.
Despite being a point of interest, the minister said the variants are not points of concern in Rwanda.
“People are encouraged to observe the basic protocols, such as hand washing, social distancing, wearing face masks and the 3Cs,” he added, “It is not time to worry about the variants today, rather we are reminded to each play a role in slowing down the current upsurge.”
On June 21,2021, the government of Rwanda issued more stringent Covid-19 preventive measures, where among other things, inter-district travel is prohibited, and the nation-wide “stay at home” curfew will be starting at 7am to 4am every day.
This was announced by the Prime Minister’s Office on Monday, June 21, as one of the outcomes of an extraordinary cabinet meeting convened by President Paul Kagame to discuss various issues, including measures to address the pandemic.
The new measures will come into effect on Wednesday [today], June 23 until after two weeks.
“Movements are prohibited between 7pm to 4am. All businesses must close by 6 PM,” read a statement from the Prime Minister’s Office.
“Movements between Kigali and other provinces, and movements between districts across the country are prohibited except for medical reasons and other essential services,” it added.
With the new measures adhered to, Ngamije is optimistic that the current trajectory will be regressed.
The same protective measures that have warded off the virus throughout the pandemic, he said are even more critical in the face of more transmissible variants.
Todate, 32,296 people have contracted Covid-19 since the first case was reported in Rwanda in March 2020. Of these, 26,712 have recovered while 5,192 are still in hospitals.
There were four more deaths reported in the last 24 hours. This has raised the death toll from Covid-19 to 392, representing 1.2 percent of the total cases in Rwanda.
The government has meanwhile revealed 391,001 people have been vaccinated against Covid-19 so far.