Rwanda remains on course to discharge the first patients of new Coronavirus in a couple of days following full recovery of the first group of positive cases of COVID-19.
The Minister of Health, Dr Daniel Ngamije told KT Press on Monday that they remain confident that the first batch of patients who tested positive of New Coronavirus will be released from hospital mid this week in what could be welcome news in Rwanda’s fight against the pandemic.
“Yes, they will be released as planned, mid this week, a couple of days from now. You will be able to meet them and interview them and hear their side of the story,”
“But yes, the patients are doing well and we are confident that the first group will be discharged which is a big step in the fight against the new Coronavirus,” Dr. Ngamije said.
Reacting to a video which was circulated on social media, showing one of the isolated patients of COVID-19 dancing in his room, the Minister of Health said the video could have sent a wrong message to the public that Coronavirus is not a serious condition, something he said is misleading.
“The video is inappropriate and is misleading at this time when we are trying to deal with a serious condition. It is wrong for whoever shared it. That is not the kind of message we want to send out at this time. Our communications team is looking into the issue,” Dr Ngamije said.
The video which was shared by a local journalist shows a patient in his room dancing to a South African song. Though it elicited positive messages with many expressing hope, others thought virus is not as serious as it is thought to be.
Minister Ngamije reminded the public that the New Coronavirus remains a very dangerous pandemic which should be treated with the seriousness it deserves, with people urged to continue observing the measures put in place by the government to stop the spread.
As the virus has manifested itself elsewhere, majority of the patients get mild flu-like symptoms while others don’t show any signs but for others, including majority who succumb to it, it attacks the lungs, making patients struggle to breath, requiring a ventilator.
Rwanda has so far registered 70 cases of people who tested positive of the virus and are currently in isolation and undergoing treatment. On Monday, no new cases were registered with the Ministry of Health stating that none of the 70 is in critical condition.
Though there is no treatment, several trials are being conducted worldwide to determine the cure. The Food and Drugs Authority (FDA) has warned against using unapproved drugs including Chloroquine, Hydroxychloroquine and Azithromycin to treat COVID-19.
FDA also confirmed that it received an application from U.S-based LEAF Pharmaceuticals to try a drug that could help in the treatment of Coronavirus-related complication. If successful, the drug will be able to help restore oxygen in the lungs of patients and improve breathing.
In an interview with Rwanda Television, Dr Clet Niyikiza, the founder and head of the pharmaceutical manufacturer said that they are among the 17 companies given a green light to do research on the vaccine and cure of COVID-19.
The Minister of Health however told KT Press that the trial is yet to be confirmed and given a green light.
Doctors at Kanyinya Health Centre, where the patients are being treated confirmed over the weekend that patients were doing well.
Dr Ernest Ndahayo, the Director of the health centre said that often many patients are supported and monitored, taking medicines for normal cough and their bodies are able to develop imunity to defeat the virus while in other cases patients can get worse.
“Most of them exhibit signs including fever, a cold and breathlessness which when treated early, the body can develop antibodies to defeat the virus but in other cases, some patients get worse, which is why we observe them for at least 14 days,” he said.
“But so far all the patients are ok and are only required to go through the mandatory 14 days of isolation and monitoring,” Dr Ndahayo explained.
Some of the patients who include people who were quarantined upon arrival and later tested positive and admitted who spoke to RTV confirmed that they were on a path to recovery. They thanked the government for the care.
As of Monday, deaths related to new coronavirus globally were toping 37, 000 while 770,293 infections had been recorded in different countries including Rwanda.