Rwanda to conduct Covid-19 tests free of charge for all citizens
London, Dec. 29, 2020 (AltAfrica)-Rwandan Health Centres (HCs) in different parts of the country have been ordered to conduct Covid-19 tests, to all citizens free of charge by the Rwanda Biomedical Centre (RBC)
According to Dr. Sabin Nsanzimana the Director General of RBC, since last week, his institution has started distributing rapid diagnostic tests to health centres and the process is continuing even during this week.
The tests done at the HCs will exclusively be rapid diagnostic ones and they will be given free of charge, but the beneficiaries should meet some criteria to qualify for these services.
Among the criteria, someone should have been a close contact of a positive case; or they should have been a patient themselves requiring a follow-up test.
Nsanzimana told The New Times that the rapid diagnostic tests being used in HCs are “highly accurate” as he promised that RBC will also continue using the Polymerase chain reaction (PCR) examinations for fewer cases.
Meanwhile, for those who need to be tested for Covid-19 for other purposes can access such services from private clinics.
In mid-December, RBC cleared private health facilities to offer Covid-19 testing services using rapid diagnostic tests as well.
Currently, there is a list of 42 private clinics countrywide that RBC accredited to start testing people, using antigen rapid tests.
The cost of tests done in these clinics, according to Dr. Nsanzimana, should not go above Rwf 10,000. This is in regard to an agreement that RBC reached with private clinics concerning the prices of tests.
In addition to this, about a week and a half ago, RBC in partnership with Kigali International Airport established a PCR Covid-19 testing centre at the airport
This is meant to ensure that all arriving passengers are tested from the premise, and are required to wait for the results while staying at the respective designed transit hotels. Within twenty-four hours after the tests, they can receive the results from the National Reference Laboratory.
As of Sunday December 27, Rwanda had a total of 7,970 confirmed cases of Covid-19. Of these, 6289 have recovered; while 74 have lost their lives.