Germany’s renowned Robert Koch Institute is no longer considering Rwanda as the COVID-19 risk area due to several efforts the country deployed to contain the spread of the pandemic.
The Robert Koch Institute (RKI) is the German government’s central scientific institution in the field of biomedicine. It is one of the most important bodies for the safeguarding of public health in Germany.
In the last four days, Rwanda did not feature on the list of the Institutes of COVID-19 risk area.
The report of the institute informs the Federal Government on the decision to take in regard to incoming travelers.
For example, for those entering the Federal Republic of Germany who have been in a risk area at any time within the last 14 days prior to entry, there may be an obligation to separate them according to the respective quarantine regulations of the responsible federal states.
According to the Institute, the classification as a risk area is based on joint analysis and the decision by the Federal Ministry of Health, the Federal Foreign Office and the Federal Ministry of the Interior, for construction and home.
The classification as a risk area is also based on a two-stage assessment.
First, it is determined in which states/regions there have been more than 50 newly infected people per 100,000 inhabitants in the past seven days. In a second step, qualitative criteria are used to determine whether there is still a risk of an increased infection risk for countries/regions that are nominally below the specified limit.
For assessment step 2, the Federal Foreign Office provides in particular on the basis of the reports from the German diplomatic missions abroad and, if applicable, the Federal Ministry of Health and the Federal Ministry of the Interior, for construction and home, qualitative reports on the situation on site, which also shed light on the measures taken to contain the corona pandemic.
Decisive for the evaluation are in particular the number of infections and the type of outbreak (locally limited or area-wide), test capacities as well as tests carried out per inhabitant as well as measures taken in the states to contain the infection process (hygiene regulations, contact tracking etc.).
Rwanda has been doing well in all these processes; the country started with a handful of tests since the outbreak in March 2020, and has now upgraded to an average of 2000 tests every day.
A National COVID-19 command post coordinates all frontline activities of the fight against the pandemic.
The Institute also takes into account if there is no reliable information for certain countries. Test capacities, as well as tests, carried out per inhabitant as well as measures taken in the states to contain the infection process (hygiene regulations, contact tracking etc.).
On the list of RKI, 136 countries are high COVID-19 risk countries. This is on top of 29 USA states.
The countries include but are not limited to Afghanistan, Egypt, Albania, Algeria, Angola, Burundi, Chile, Costa Rica, Ivory Coast.
Others are India, Indonesia, Iraq and Iran.
China, Italy, France are not on this list which the institute, however, said can be constantly updated.
“There may be short term changes, especially an expansion of this list. Please check immediately before starting your trip whether you have been in one of these areas within the last 14 days before entering Germany. In these cases, you have to expect an obligation to separate,” advises RKI.
Rwanda is the only country in the East Africa region that does not feature on the COVID-19 risk area of Robert Koch.
Currently, Rwanda is strategically and cautionary reopening businesses, keeping a lockdown for Rusizi district in the Western Province, and isolation of Rubavu, the same province.
The country is working hard to stop any potential spread through tracing in the same areas and in other parts of the country.
The citizen is encouraged to observe health measures that were put in place which include wearing a face mask, keeping a one-meter distance while in public, and observing all hygiene measures.
Domestic tourism in Rwanda and international tourism for visitors traveling on charter flights resumed on June 16. On this date, the government also reopened meetings at hotels, which have to be conducted in observance of the health guidelines.
Churches could also open in the next 15 days. Marriages will be allowed with participants limited to 30 people.