5 Dead, 197 New Cases: COVID-19 Numbers Continue to Rise as Rwanda Readies for Vaccine

Rwanda has installed storage facilities for the COVID-19 vaccines in readiness to receive the first batch. Photos/RBA

The new Coronavirus numbers in Rwanda continue to be worrisome as daily infections and death seem not to be relenting, with 5 deaths and 197 new cases reported on Thursday.

According to the Ministry of Health, the deceased include two 93- and 68-year-old women from the City of Kigali and two men aged 68 and 48, also from Kigali and another man aged 27 from Rwamagana District. The number is one of the highest daily rates.

The Ministry also announced that there were 197 new COVID-19 cases out of 6,063 tests done in 24 hours

Kigali has the highest number with 98, Huye: 17, Rulindo: 17, Gicumbi: 14, Kirehe: 12, Gisagara: 12, Musanze 6, Rwamagana: 6, Nyagatare: 5, Gakenke: 2, Nyanza: 2, Rusizi: 1, Nyamagabe: 1, Rubavu: 1.

Rwanda has so far conducted 779,511 tests out 10,316 turned out positive. Of these, 6,974 have recovered while 3,209 remain active patients. The country has so far recorded 133 deaths. The percentage of infections currently stands at 3.2 percent while the mortality rate is at 1.3 percent.

The country continues to observe strict COVID-19 measures revised on January 4 in the wake of increasing numbers. The directives are expected to be reviewed in 15 days, from the date previous measures were announced.

Ready for Vaccine

Meanwhile on Thursday, Rwanda Biomedical Centre (RBC) revealed the country has prepared to receive the COVID-19 vaccine though it is not clear when the first batch will arrive in the country. The government expects to secure the first doses between March and April.

RBC said the country has already installed the required refrigeration systems to store the vaccine and procured equipment to transport it safely to different parts of the country.

The five refrigerators procured at the cost of Rwf50m have been installed in the Kigali Special Economic Zone in Masoro, Gasabo district. The equipment was added to already existing facilities to store vaccines.

The coolers can keep things cold to below -80 degrees Celsius.

According to available information, the refrigerators have the capacity to store something at between -40 and -86 degrees Celsius. The World Health Organisation (WHO) has urged countries to prepare to receive the vaccines one they become available.

Countries with facilities to store and distribute the vaccines will be at an added advantage once they are fully available for distribution in the coming months.

Rwanda has already submitted its application for COVID-19 vaccines, which are expected to be available by March 2021.

The Minister of Health, Dr Daniel Ngamije last month said Rwanda has already submitted applications to receive the vaccines through the COVAX global initiative aimed at ensuring equitable distribution of COVID-19 vaccines once they become available.

COVID-19 Vaccine transportation containers..

Last week, WHO urged vaccine manufacturers to prioritise COVAX, which will be the main vehicle for developing countries to receive the virus as developed economies continue to use their financial muscle to procure the available doses to combat the deadly virus.

Dr. Ngamije said Rwanda hopes to procure the first batch between March and April, with frontline workers and vulnerable groups lined up to be the first to benefit once the vaccine is available.

The New Coronavirus continues to wreak havoc on the world with different countries battling new strains and increased numbers and deaths.




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