Rwanda’s progress in COVID-19 fight is down to “strong leadership”; WHO chief

FILE PHOTO: President Paul Kagame (Center – in red) chairs a Cabinet meeting at Urugwiro Village to evaluate measures in place to stop the spread of COVID-19 in Rwanda, 3 June 2020. /Photo courtesy: Rwanda Presidency – Twitter.

Rwanda’s success so far in the fight against COVID-19 has been made possible by the country’s “strong leadership”, according to the World Health Organization Director-General Tedros Adhanom.

Adhanom made the remarks on Monday at a regular COVID-19 briefing in Geneva, Switzerland.

“Rwanda’s progress is due to a similar combination (as New Zealand) of strong leadership, universal health coverage, well-supported health workers and clear public health communications,” said Tedros.

The WHO chief noted that the East African country’s move to avail free testing for all citizens had played a major role in its efforts to eliminate the virus from its borders.

“All testing and treatment for COVID-19 is free in Rwanda, so there are no financial barriers to people getting tested,” he said. “And when people test positive for the virus, they’re isolated and health workers then visit every potential contact and test them also.”

By Monday, Rwanda had reported 2,140 confirmed COVID-19 infections and 7 deaths, according to its health ministry.

Tedros has been vocal in calls urging countries globally to embark on testing and isolating patients as a way of helping beat the pandemic.

In his remarks on Monday, he added: “Getting the basics right provides a clear picture of where the virus is and the necessary targeted actions to suppress transmission and save lives.”

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