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  • on march 8 an indian national traveled from

  • mumbai india to kigali the capital of rwanda five

  • days later he called the country's corvette 19 hotline

  • after he began experiencing flu-like symptoms while at home

  • he was subsequently referred to a hospital in kigali

  • on march 14 the rwandan ministry of health confirmed what

  • many feared the country's first culver 19 case

  • the rwandan government was already on standby to kick-start its covert 19

  • strategy after closely observing how the disease

  • was spreading in asia and europe its president paul kagame exhorted

  • rwandans to unite and show discipline in confronting

  • it would use innovative and aggressive methods to fight covert 19

  • including enlisting the help of robots and drawing on its experience from

  • handling past outbreaks including ebola in july the

  • european union lived to travel restrictions for rwandan residents

  • a testament to the country's overall response to contain the pandemic

  • rwanda became the first country in africa to impose a nationwide shutdown

  • on march 22nd after a wave of imported cases in the

  • country and the government's early response made all

  • the difference

  • the lockdown allowed the government time to complete setting up testing centers

  • isolate other imported cases and treat infected patients

  • rwandans were also reminded to practice good hygiene

  • while hand washing stations were created around the country the first days was

  • were a bit challenging because you know like you know used to

  • stay home all day long jean-luc habimana a documentary photographer and kigali

  • resident remembers the panic he felt when the country confirmed

  • the first few cases of cover 19. it felt more real it felt because before it

  • would be like oh people are like it's it's happening in

  • china maybe it's you know but then when it was in random they're like oh the

  • first case was recorded like oh this thing is really this thing

  • is serious they had started following the measures against coffee

  • way before the first case was recorded so we're

  • like oh pretty sure like things are gonna like

  • get controlled and stuff but then of course cases kept coming by

  • april the country had 75 cases recognizing the

  • urgency of stepping up its contact chasing system

  • the rwandan government gathered around 2 000 frontline workers and contact traces

  • including medical students and police officers to meet the challenge

  • the decision to use other people who could do the same job as doctors and

  • nurses could be doing was not only to maintain the continuity

  • of services in hospitals but also was to upgrade and to give

  • skills to people who'd going to use this

  • same skills in the future sabine in sanzimana

  • is directing the rwandan government's cover 19 strategy and

  • implementation he explains the rationale behind the country's unorthodox and

  • aggressive contact tracing plan we came from um 26 years ago

  • from a genocide against the tools in rwanda that

  • took out of the health system eighty percent

  • of the health personnel capacity were either

  • killed either phosphate in the killing or just

  • uh doctors nurses and health personnel just become

  • themselves patients in need of care you could imagine that

  • uh with a covered pandemic coming in as we build a

  • system would cause more harm and destruction of the system that was

  • already at a stage of reconstruction the

  • best economy you can imagine is when people are

  • healthy when you do proper lockdown you're indirectly investing in the

  • economy

  • i can measure your temperature okay go ahead over the years the government

  • has made strides to improve its healthcare system

  • despite being a developing country rwanda has universal health coverage

  • while plans are underway to implement more digital solutions in its healthcare

  • system in fact the country employ the use of

  • robots during the pandemic which can deliver food medication and

  • conduct temperature checks on up to 150 people

  • per minute seven one thing we've been talking about is the use of robots in

  • rwanda which we haven't seen a lot in other countries so

  • why did rwanda decide to take this approach if you

  • you lose your internists or your economist because

  • it's it's copied positive and is out of work and you only have

  • two or three in the country that will be catastrophic so

  • ideals more to protect those health personnel

  • so that they can freely manage cases without interacting with

  • patients so often

  • just as the government slowly eased lockdown restrictions in may

  • there was another surge of imported cases mainly

  • among truck drivers from neighboring countries

  • one such cluster of covered 19 cases was in the district of free city

  • in the western province of the country rwanda's frontline workers were

  • recording 10 positive cases out of every 100 samples in music which

  • borders the democratic republic of congo and burundi

  • in 2014 the same district was at risk of an outbreak

  • of a different deadlier virus the recently confirmed

  • case of an ebola virus outbreak in port harcourt river state capital which

  • claimed the life in life on friday the first case of the

  • west african ebola epidemic was reported in guinea

  • at the end of 2013 and it eventually spread to pockets of the continent

  • such as put haka to nigeria as well as the united states and europe

  • while the outbreaks were not linked the democratic republic of congo was also

  • recording rises in the number of ebola cases

  • by the end of 2019 congo recorded more than 3 000 cases of which 2

  • 203 people died that's a death rate of 66 percent

  • rwanda was particularly at risk since tens of thousands of people ply the

  • border crossings daily a team of rwandan experts was sent to

  • congo to learn from their battle against ebola while the vigorous screening

  • process and enforced hand washing at the border

  • ensure that not a single case of ebola was recorded in

  • the country this experience 7 says gave rwanda the

  • expertise and infrastructure to fight cover 19.

  • our teams were exposed to to the response and also they helped

  • also they learned a lot from from this exchange

  • the same people when they returned back to rwanda are the ones still today

  • at the forefront to respond to convin 19. as the government began recording

  • more clusters of covert 19 cases in districts like recisi it stepped up

  • its approach in may to counter this rise

  • one such approach is called pull testing this method involves combing samples

  • from a group of 30 people for example instead of doing 30 individual tests

  • this technique yields a single result if a test detects the presence of the

  • virus the 30 individuals are then tested separately to determine who

  • was positive at the start of the pandemic the country

  • was testing close to a thousand samples a day but a pivot to the pull

  • testing approach increased its testing capability

  • fifteen-fold the strategy has also been successfully adopted in other african

  • countries like ghana and was launched in the

  • united states in july i think the government is really doing

  • their best to to test people who have symptoms as fast as

  • possible there were random testing programs

  • already mostly in the capital five months into the pandemic and rwanda

  • has outperformed many countries with its handling of the outbreak despite a spike

  • in infections in the middle of august the

  • country's death rate is below one percent

  • significantly lower than the fatality rates worldwide

  • while rwanda has been hailed as a role model for other african countries

  • some have criticized its aggressive approach such as the police's alleged

  • excessive use of force during the lockdown

  • the government has since launched an investigation into these claims

  • when you fight pandemic sometimes you need to take

  • actions that will protect people some people say no it doesn't exist

  • others will try to undermine the actions um that are protecting the people we've

  • seen it in in many countries and you've seen it

  • how it actually uh destroyed the response so rwanda's fights with covet

  • 19 is still ongoing but thanks to its early

  • and aggressive strategies both its economy and borders have now

  • reopened however rwandans remain cautious and

  • still wear masks in public places jean-luc says he's proud of rwandans and

  • how responsive they've been to the government's measures he remains

  • optimistic not only about his country's future but

  • his continents too it makes me excited about the future

  • because i i really i really see the potential and when i

  • look at my generation how young people are working so hard to

  • move my country move africa to a better place

  • as a storyteller i feel even more excited to to leave the story and

  • you know get to tell them as usual guys thank you so much for watching our video

  • what do you think about how the rwandan government handled this

  • comment below and don't forget to subscribe

on march 8 an indian national traveled from

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How Rwanda kept its Covid-19 death rate low | CNBC Reports

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    Summer posted on 2020/08/25
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