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CORONA VIRUS

United States Donates Additional Protective Gear To Fight COVID-19 In Rwanda

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As further demonstration of United States commitment to improving health in Rwanda, the United States yesterday donated personal protective equipment (PPE) and other medical supplies to protect Rwandan doctors, nurses, and other medical workers from COVID-19, with a total donation value of more than Rwf147 million.

The new protective medical supplies were funded by the U.S. Department of Defense’s Overseas Humanitarian Disaster Assistance and Civic Aid (OHDACA) in partnership with the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). 

The donated supplies include surgical masks, sterile gloves, and protective boots.

OHDACA funding is a unique U.S. humanitarian assistance program that, in Rwanda and many other countries, has helped to build effectiveness in combatting COVID-19. 

This week’s OHDACA assistance is considered a further gift from the American people to improve health in Rwanda.

This most recent investment of PPE and medical supplies with a total value of Rwf147 million is in addition to previous OHDACA donations to Rwanda of more than Rwf1.5 billions’ worth of PPE, X-ray machines, and other equipment to fight COVID-19. 

Other U.S. COVID-19 support to Rwanda to date includes:  more than 1,200,000 doses of Pfizer COVID-19 vaccines; 100 state-of-the-art ventilators; construction of handwashing stations across Rwanda; public communications to fight COVID-19; vehicles to support contact tracing; patient monitors, hospital beds, and intensive care unit equipment; and other medical supplies such as biohazard bags, alcohol, hand washing soap, and PPE; and other support.

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CORONA VIRUS

Health Workers To Be First To Get Vaccinated As Omicron Spreads

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As the Omicron wave of COVID-19 hit the world, health medical staff and frontline workers will be the first to get vaccinated before other target groups in the phase.

According to the Ministry of Health announcement, COVID-19 vaccine boosters will begin with the front line workers and those in elderly ages non-communicable diseases and health conditions.

Regardless of frontline workers and health staffs, other main target groups are the elderly people in the 50’s and above as well as those in the 39-40 but with non-communicable diseases or other health conditions as the guideline mentions.

Health practitioners have welcomed the third vaccination jab saying the move is timely because they know well they are risk factors to transmit the pandemic.

“We are the first risk factors who can spread COVID-19 easily therefore, we have to vaccinate before others due to contacts we make with patients,” said Vicent Mugambira, a health practitioner.

According to the Ministry of Health, the third dose will focus on those who received the first and second phases of the vaccine.

“COVID-19 vaccine booster dose is an additional dose that is given to eligible groups at least 6 months (180) days after being fully vaccinated. It can be considered as the third dose for those who received a single dose type of vaccine,” the Ministry’s announcement reads.

Despite the third wave of COVID-19, there are concerns and uncertainty on the times a person should vaccinate.

“I would like to know how comes for the person to be considered as fully vaccinated while there is a remaining dose,” a tweep responded to the Ministry’s announcement.

Since last week, the vaccination program of students in the range age of 12-17 is going on countrywide but parents have to first sign consent forms on their behalf.

Rwanda target to vaccinate 30 percent of its population by the end of December.

 

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CORONA VIRUS

UN Agency Says Travel Bans over Omicron a ‘Mistake

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Many countries across the globe have rushed to impose travel ban on arrivals to countries in the southern africa region following the emergence of a more deadly covid-19 strain known as omnicron in South Africa.

 

Passengers from most countries in South African Development Community bloc are banned from entering various countries across the globe.

 

Like many other countries responding to the quick spread of Omnicron, Rwanda has banned passengers arriving from Zimbabwe, Zambia, Mozambique, Lesotho, Eswatini, Botswana, South Africa, Namibia and Malawi.

 

The government of Rwanda said on Monday any passengers from the countries listed shall have to be quarantined for 7 days at their own cost.

 

Meanwhile, the head of the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa said that travel bans to try and stop the omicron strain from spreading are a “mistake” and pose a greater risk to African economies than the threat of the virus itself.

The restrictions could push more people in the continent into poverty, said Vera Songwe, Uneca’s executive director. The agency was already estimating that 70 million jobs would be lost because of the pandemic, she said. 

Rwanda Issues New Conditions For Travelers From Southern Africa

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CORONA VIRUS

Rwanda Issues New Conditions For Travelers From Southern Africa

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Passengers arriving in Rwanda from Zimbabwe, Zambia, Mozambique, Lesotho, Eswatini, Botswana, South Africa, Namibia and Malawi shall have to be quarantined for 7 days at their own cost, the government of Rwanda said on Monday.

A new coronavirus strain named Omicron potentially more contagious than previous variants and is fast spreading across the world and has forced governments to institute enhanced guidelines to quickly prevent the variants further spread.

Passengers arriving in Rwanda shall have to respect the new measures announced by the government on Sunday. It said that passengers arriving from the countries mentioned above are required to quarantine for seven days at their own cost at designated hotels upon arrival in Rwanda.

“The measure also applies to passengers who have visited any of these countries within seven days of arrival in Rwanda.”

Meanwhile, all other arriving passengers are required to quarantine for one day at their own cost in designated hotels. a covid-19 PCR test will be conducted on arrival also paid for by the passenger and an additional PCR test covered by the government of Rwanda will be administered at a designated testing site on day 7 after arrival in Rwanda.

RwandaAir flight to the South African countries are also suspended until further notice.

An extra-ordinary cabinet meeting held yesterday learned that despite the fact that Omicron variant is not yet detected in Rwanda, residents are required to be vigilant by enforcing preventive measures.  

Prior the announcement, Botswana’s Presidential COVID-19 Task Force also forewarned the public about the new variant cases in the country.

“The four cases were detected among travelers who tested SARS-COV-2 positive on routine pre-travel testing. The variant tests were carried out as part of the routine genomic surveillance of SARS-COV-2 as prescribed in our COVID-19 response plan.” the statement signed by Dr. K Masupu, Coordinator, Presidential COVID-19 Task Force reads.

UK has also imposed a travel ban on South Africa, Namibia, Zimbabwe, Botswana, Lesotho, and Eswatini.

Researchers around the world are still conducting multiple studies to better understand many aspects about Omicron.

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