The Center for Disease Control Commends Rwanda for Managing Covid-19 Variants

The Center for Disease Control (CDC) has commended Rwanda for its double-check measures on testing COVID-19 variants especially on flying passengers entering the country.

Dr. Aimee Geissler, the Global Health Security Director – Center for Disease Control (CDC) Rwanda said that the Indian variant (Delta) is seen mostly in East African Community and it’s  60% more transimible and 2.2fold more likely to cause hospitalization but its detection also very hard.

Geissler said that since it’s impossible to tell who is infected with the new variants by just looking at the historical strain, COVID-19 test measures have to be universally applied so that everyone is using the same principles of prevention.

“For example Rwanda has done a good job while trying to prevent the importation of these variants by screening every passenger that enters at the airport regardless of whether they are vaccinated or not; everyone is getting a PCR test to make sure the most sensitive test is used,” Geissler said.

She explained that such strict testing measures are good because they (CDC) have recorded cases of vaccinated persons who turn out to be Covid-19 positive as well.

Geissler said that since it’s impossible to tell who is infected with the new variants by just looking at the historical strain, COVID-19 test measures have to be universally applied so that everyone is using the same principles of prevention.

“For example Rwanda has done a good job while trying to prevent the importation of these variants by screening every passenger that enters at the airport regardless of whether they are vaccinated or not; everyone is getting a PCR test to make sure the most sensitive test is used,” Geissler said.

She explained that such strict testing measures are good because they (CDC) have recorded cases of vaccinated persons who turn out to be Covid-19 positive as well.

Geissler also warned that the new variants will still remain a threat for many countries including Rwanda, but with CDC support countries will be helped with capacity building based on information provided on sequencing.

On the country level, health experts showed that Rwanda has done over 330 tests on visitors and found two main variants like Alpha and Delta in 31 patients of them, but did not see the Indian variant yet.

These cases were arrested at arrival at the Kigali international airport, quarantined and successfully recovered before being exposed to the Rwandan population according to Prof. Leon Mutesa, the Director of the Center for Human Genetics – College of Medicine and Health Sciences-University of Rwanda.

Prof. Mutesa said that as the virus changes invariants so are the measures conducting sequencing tests with help of medical experts to better understand how to tackle the changing face of the virus.

Dr. Sabin Nsanzimana, the Director-General of Rwanda Biomedical Center (RBC) said that though most COVID-19 variants are coming from neighboring countries, Rwanda anticipates hitting a 30% vaccination at end of this year and 60% in 2022 based on the 3million more vaccines that are expected soon.




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