Rwanda has so far tested over 8, 000 people for new Coronavirus, on whom over 11, 000 tests have been conducted, the Minister of Health has revealed, as the country discharges 11 more recovered patients.
Appearing on the national television on Saturday, Dr Daniel Ngamije said that so far more than 8, 000 people have been tested, of whom 118 tested positive.
“Out of the 118, we have discharged 7 already and another 11 will be discharged today (Saturday). It means we will be remaining with 100 active cases. We have been lucky, none of these patients has been in the Intensive Care Unit,” Dr Ngamije said.
He pointed out that several people among the 8, 000 or more are tested more than once, hence the more than 11, 000 tests conducted so far. He however said that the situation is still considered sensitive, hence the need for the country to remain under a lockdown.
Dr. Ngamije explained that so far they have been able to successfully trace all the contacts of the confirmed cases, including some people they had to pick from upcountry locations, though luckily most of them tested negative.
The Minister of Health said that tests will continue until it is fully confirmed that there are no more cases out there. He pointed that they have successfully traced all people who travelled in the designated dates while majority turned themselves in for voluntary testing.
“We still have a few people we are yet to get but most of them turned up voluntarily. We encourage them to continue showing up for testing before we put in other efforts,” Dr Ngamije said of recent travellers’ especially to hotspots such as Dubai.
The Minister of Justice and Attorney General Johnston Busingye said that all people who travelled between the dates the Ministry of Health mentioned and to countries of high risk but have refused to come for testing are committing a crime.
“If you know someone who is showing signs of COVID-19 at your home, or if you tested positive but you don’t want to reveal all your possible contacts or if you hide information that could lead to the tracing of someone suspected to have New Coronavirus and you don’t provide this information, you are committing a crime,”
“You are not only putting the lives of many in danger but also the lives of your loved ones,” Minister Busingye said, adding that people have to understand the danger of new coronavirus.
Minister Busingye said that there are laws which punish people who put the lives of others in danger and those who commit the above offences are culpable for prosecution.
“My wish is that all Rwandans cooperate in providing this information. We don’t want to see people going to court for failing to provide this information. So far we have about 3 people who will be arraigned in court for concealing information on New Coronavirus,” Busingye revealed.
Dr Ngamije urged members of the public to be vigilant and share information which could save many lives, by calling 114 to provide information rather than finding themselves crosshairs with the law.
The Spokesperson of Rwanda National Police CP John Bosco Kabera said that there is a challenge of people who have continued to deliberately violate the measures put in place to avert the spread of COVID-19, including those who lie to move from one place to another.
CP Kabera said: “We appreciate those who obey the directives. But there are others who have been waiting for enforcement measures to be effected.”
He cited the case of Bishop Liliane Mukabadege who was arrested last week for lying to police officers that she was going at radio station to preach only to be found going to church.
“In Karongi, we arrested members of a religious sect who violated directives by organising a fellowship at a house. In Remera we arrested people including, journalists who convened people claiming that they were giving them assistance,”
“In Huye district, we are arrested 11 people who were gathering and drinking in a hotel,” CP Kabera said.
He said Police has arrested people who were doing unnecessary movements outside those allowed by the guidelines as well as people who misuse road passes and provide lifts to others.
He said that some people have been lying about going to buy food and move with food stuffs in cars and medical documents to hoodwink Police. He said such people are arrested on the spot when caught.