As Rwanda gears up to re-open education institutions albeit, in a cautious and gradual process, the country has had an encouraging thumbs-up from the World Health Organization (WHO) for its efforts to contain the New Coronavirus.
In a tweet, the WHO director, Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus commended Rwanda for following the fundamentals to bring COVID-19 under control.
“Rwanda has been running an all-of-government response to bring Covid-19 outbreak under control, following the fundamentals from testing and contact tracing to the wide use of public health measures. Well done, my brother, Paul Kagame, and the people of Rwanda,” Dr. Tedros tweeted on Tuesday
Rwanda reported the first COVID-19 case on March 14, 2020, and to prevent the further spreading of the pandemic, the government responded by temporarily declaring the lockdown, closing schools, markets, public transport, sports activities, but allowing a few essential workers to continue under strict respect of preventive measures.
In the following months, the government also started conducting mass testing of citizens, the exercise that started in Kigali city on 2nd July 2020.
The street mass testing kicked off at Amahoro National Stadium, with the Ministry of Health indicating that it targets testing at least 5,000 that day only. After Kigali, mass testing continued in Kirehe eastern on the Rwanda -Tanzania border and western parts of the country in Rusizi district that borders the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).
On April 30, 2020, the cabinet meeting that took place lifted the COVID-19 lockdown that started on March 21 with some exceptions and conditions. Markets, restaurants, and manufacturers were accepted to reopen, but on condition of using only essential and limited workers.
Since then, the Covid-19 cases in the country rose and later declined in October, the condition that led to the reopening of universities, tertiary institutions, and schools in mid-October 2020.
Despite the declining numbers, the government warns that the virus is likely to rebound, calling for continued vigilance and strict adherence to government measures against the spread of the New Coronavirus.
Today, the conditions are gradually going to normal after seven months with the government reopening universities, tertiary institutions, and schools.
For the universities and tertiary institutions that fulfilled Covid-19 preventive measures including establishing hand washing stations, the physical distancing of students at school, and Covid-19 testing kits, they were allowed to reopen in October 2020.
Primary and secondary schools were also allowed to reopen classes starting on November 2, 2020.
According to the daily Covid-19 updates from the Ministry of Health, four new cases were reported out of 997 tests conducted, 165 recovered, and 34 deaths. So far the country has registered 4,996 cases and conducted 536,779 tests.