Rwanda Biomedical Center (RBC) has announced plans to reduce the costs of taking a COVID-19 test as part of means to curb more spread of COVID-19.
Currently, an Antigen COVID-19 rapid test costs Rwf10, 000 while the PCR test goes for Rwf50, 000 at any of the designated COVID-19 testing sites including public and private hospitals.
Though the government has been conducting random public tests especially on motorists, citizens who want to attend meetings and to travel are required to take one of the tests depending on the standing conditions.
Some of them have however raised concerns of inability to raise the required amount especially at a time when the pandemic has also taken a toll on the economy and financial capacities of many Rwandans.
RBC Director General, Dr. Sabin Nsanzimana said that the government is considering reviewing the costs downward.
“We have finalized discussions with companies that produce the COVID-19 tests so that we can have a testing reactive at Rwf5, 000-6, 000,” Nsanzimana said while appearing on KTRadio Ubyumva Ute talk show this June 23, 2021.
Nsanzimana said that if this comes to pass, Rwanda will be able to increase numbers of persons taking COVID-19 tests.
Though he didn’t give a specific timeline of implementation, Nsanzimana said that there are many possibilities that the COVID-19 testing service will be integrated into the existing Community Based Health Insurance (CBHI) program commonly known as Mutuelle de Sante.
RBC also stated that current standing measures of preventing spread of the virus, such as putting on face masks, sanitizing, hand washing and social distancing will have to be reinforced so as to keep low the risks of catching the virus in public places.