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Rwanda Spends $60 Million In Four Months To Contain COVID-19 Outbreak

High-tech robots developed by Zora Bots, a Belgium-based company, and donated by the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) are seen during a demonstration at the Kanyinya treatment centre that treats coronavirus disease (COVID-19) patients, in Kigali, Rwanda May 29, 2020. Picture taken May 29, 2020. REUTERS/Clement Uwiringiyimana

Rwanda has spent $60 million within four months on different activities aimed at containing the outbreak of COVID-19 in the country, Rwandan minister of health Daniel Ngamije said Monday.

The small central African country recorded the first case of COVID-19 on March 14. As of Sunday evening, it registered a total of 1,582 cases, including 834 recoveries and five deaths.

“The government had budgeted 73 million U.S. dollars for six months to contain COVID-19 outbreak, but so far, we have spent about 60 million U.S. dollars within a period of four months,” Ngamije told a press conference in Kigali about the country’s response to combat the outbreak of COVID-19 in Rwanda.

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He added that the money was spent on putting in place COVID-19 laboratories, testing and treatment of patients, tracing and the cost of isolating contacts including accommodation and meals.

“Managing COVID-19 is expensive for the government, but we have to keep fighting to ensure that we contain further spread of the virus within the population countrywide,” he said.

According to him, Rwanda has put in place strict measures against the virus including setting up a multi-sectoral task force to address the pandemic, improving laboratory capacity from 300 to 4,000 sample tests per day and giving timely treatment to patients, among others.

The coronavirus tests the resilience of Rwanda’s system, he said, noting that while the country has to fight with the pandemic, it must be in a way that doesn’t cost much more than it already has.

Rwanda has learnt that good governance, leadership and a strong health system are key towards implementing successful COVID-19 prevention measures, according to him.

Currently, Rwanda has five hospitals all over the country where people can get tested and receive COVID-19 treatments, said the minister.

Speaking at the same press conference, Rwandan Minister of Local Government Anastase Shyaka called on the citizens to be more vigilant about COVID-19 prevention measures especially at the time that more services are resuming operation.

The central African country has so far recorded impressive progress in implementing COVID-19 preventive measures, despite a few cases of the violation of the measures, said the minister.

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Written by PH

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