Govt slashes prices for voluntary Covid-19 testing

Rwanda Biomedical Centre (RBC) on Monday, July 27, announced prices for those who seek to voluntarily test for Covid-19, services that will be available effective Tuesday, July 28.

The Covid-19 testing services, according to RBC, will be offered to all who require it, including both departing and arriving passengers on commercial flights.

 

Previously, this service was only given to people who came into contact with confirmed Covid-19 cases and people with high-risk of contracting this virus such as cross-border traders and truck-drivers and repatriated Rwandans among others.

 

All these people are tested at no cost.

 

According to RBC, the ongoing mass testing of contacts and high-risk groups across the country is a public health exercise and will not be affected by the new guidelines.

In a communique issued on Monday July 28, RBC noted that everyone in need of this service will have to pay Rwf47,200 ($50) per test.

Prior to the Monday announcement, the Minister of Health had said that nationals will pay about Rwf50,000 per test, whereas foreigners were to pay slightly over Rwf95, 000 ($100).

“Samples will be collected from RBC Gikondo Branch at the Office of Vaccination Program (KK 6 Ave) and at Petit Stade in Remera,” RBC noted in a statement.

It is mandatory to make a prior booking before seeking testing services and this will be done via rbc.gov.rw/booking.

The move comes few days to the resumption of commercial flights on August 01, whereby the government had announced that every passenger will have to show Covid-19 negative certificate, whether they are arriving, transiting or departing from Rwanda.

Earlier in the day, Dr Sabin Nsanzimana, Director General of RBC told The New Times that the mandatory Covid-19 tests for arriving passengers “will limit imported cases of this pandemic”, adding that “there will also be a Covid-19 test for all departing passengers to protect others (passengers)”.

For arriving flights, passengers are supposed to show a Covid-19 negative test dated three days before the flight and also undergo a second Covid-19 test upon arrival.

However, it is expected that a fresh detailed announcement, in this regard, will be issued soon.

Update on the pandemic

Meanwhile, on Monday, Rwanda reported 58 new Covid-19 cases and 57 new recoveries. 

Of the new cases, 55 were detected in Kigali among villages under lockdown.

Other cases were recorded in Rusizi and Musanze districts, two cases and one case respectively.

The results, according to the Ministry of health, were drawn from 6, 165 sample tests conducted in the last 24 hours.

So far, the country has recorded a total of 1,879 confirmed cases since mid-March. 

Of these, 975 have already recovered.

The pandemic has also claimed the lives of five people, two of whom being peacekeepers serving on a UN mission.

editor@newtimesrwanda.com

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