A drive-through Covid-19 testing exercise has been introduced in Kigali. While testing is still free of charge, one can bet their last dollar that if a testing facility was set up in the stadium, few would heed the call.
And even if it was made compulsory and a deadline set, one can be sure that the facilities would be overflowing on the last day. That is the nature of Rwandans; they tend to do things at the last minute.
Whoever thought of bringing testing to the people must have understood the Rwandan psych, so random testing is sure to record a higher turn-up.
Drive through was first introduced in South Korea when the pandemic first erupted; people did not need to get out of cars to be tested. It was rapid and hustle-free and up to 30,000 people could be tested in a day and the country was able to get a quick picture of the pandemic and act accordingly.
Rwanda targets a smaller number and for a limited time span. By carrying out 5,000 tests in Kigali and its entry points within a week, it will be able to give the government and other Covid-19 stakeholders a clearer picture of the virus, its weak points and possible threats.
Accurate information informs Covid-19 responders on what next steps to take. That was the case of Gikondo area in Kigali currently under lockdown. Mass tests that had been taken a few days earlier called for urgent steps; a quick, decisive move to lock down the surrounding areas.
Rwandans should count themselves lucky that free testing is finding them at their doorsteps, in some countries, even those who a willing to pay for the tests can’t get it.