Rwanda places capital, Kigali in second lockdown, ends free covid-19 treatment
London, Jan. 19, 2021 (AltAfrica)-Rwandan capital, Kigali is back in total lockdown from Tuesday, the second of its kind after the one that covered March and April 2020.
The decision plunge Kigali into second lockdown was taken on Monday following a surge of new COVID-19 cases and deaths which doubled in the last 5o days.
The deaths increased to 146 and the cumulative number of cases, now at record 11,259.
Information from the Rwanda Biomedical Centre indicates that Kigali accounts for 61 per cent of Covid-19 patients reported in the country since January 1.
“The surge in cases specifically in the City of Kigali has necessitated a lockdown. Citizens are urged to significantly reduce social interactions and limit movements to essential services,” reads part of a statement released by the Office of the Prime Minister.
Rwandan Minister of Health assured citizens that the medical team is working hard to defy the pandemic.
“We have opened a new COVID-19 treatment centre which will deal with critical cases, adding to several other centres like Kanyiya and Gatenga in city of Kigali. We are working hard to reverse the trend,” Dr. Daniel Ngamije said while condemning behaviours of the few who loosened in preventive measures since November.
Meanwhile, from February, 16, Public Health Facilities in Rwanda will no longer treat covid-19 patients for free, they will henceforth be treated using health insurance according to a directive by the Ministry of Health.
With the increase in cases, the Ministry of Health has decided to integrate Covid-19 management in the existing health management for treatment and will use health insurance schemes.
This will see health facilities commence billing and processing invoices and requesting compensation by health insurance.
This will include home-based care as well as treatment in health centres, district and referral hospitals.
Previously, the cost of treatment of Covid-19 cases in public facilities was handled by the government and free for patients.
Explaining the development, Dr. Corneille Ntihabose, the Head of Department of Clinical and Public Health Services in the Ministry of Health told The New Times that the development will not apply to Covid-19 testing
The treatment with cost implications includes; ambulance transportation, oxygen, medicine, therapy as well as consultation. Testing in public facilities remains free.