Rwanda decentralises Covid-19 testing exercise

Dr Sabin Nsanzimana, Director-General of Rwanda Biomedical Centre. File

A new Covid-19 testing lab has been established in Rusizi District, which Rwanda Biomedical Centre (RBC) says will help contain the Covid-19 pandemic in Western Province specifically.

“Gihundwe District Hospital Covid-19 testing lab is fully set and operational,” Dr Sabin Nsanzimana, Director-General of RBC tweeted on Wednesday, June 24.


He added that: “RBC lab technicians were deployed to train local lab technicians.”


According to Nsanzimana, this new lab will be testing 500 sample tests a day.


The establishment of this lab follows a series of high numbers of positive cases being detected in Rusizi District since the beginning of June this year.

Highlighting the advantages of the new Covid-19 testing laboratory, Nsanzimana explained that the whole western province will benefit from it.

“The evacuation of confirmed Covid-19 patients will now speed-up, considering that results from sample tests will be obtained at a nearer place,” he said.

“The Lab will also help the whole Western Province in this regard, and furthermore the neighbouring countries though that lies in the understanding of both countries,” he added.

Formerly, sample tests would be taken from Rusizi district and brought to Kigali at National Reference Laboratory for results, which would delay the process of knowing confirmed patients and recoveries to help them accordingly.

The move is also in line with the country’s target to increase her testing capacity. The Rwanda Biomedical Centre recently noted that Rwanda’s testing capacity has increased 15 fold in the past four months and has been scaled up across the country.

More efforts to contain the pandemic in the area

With a total of 830 confirmed cases in Rwanda as of June 24, Rusizi remains the major Covid-19 hotspot.

To avoid further spread of this Virus in the neighbouring districts, five sectors of Rusizi are in total lockdown and movements to and from this district are still prohibited.

In addition, strong command posts have been deployed in all districts neighbouring Rusizi to contain the pandemic in that area, says Nsanzimana.

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