Thursday 20 January 2022 - 8:50:37 pm

Rwanda’s envoy hails UAE support to fight COVID-19

ABU DHABI, 28th November, 2021 (WAM) -- The international solidarity has been core in gaining wins in the ongoing fight against the global pandemic, according to a senior Rwandan diplomat.

"Since the COVID-19 outbreak began, the UAE donated to Rwanda 20.8 tonnes of medical supplies, testing kits, ventilators and COVID-19 vaccines. The UAE's support was a much needed shot in the arm for Rwanda’s handling of this global pandemic. It is a testament of solidarity between our two brotherly countries," said Emmanuel Hategeka, Ambassador of the Republic of Rwanda to the UAE.

"The fight against COVID-19 is far from over and Rwanda will not take for granted gains registered in the COVID-19 pandemic management. With the determination of Rwandan citizens, people-centred leadership together with collaboration with partners like the UAE, we shall all win," he reiterated in a statement.

Rwanda reported the first COVID-19 case on 14th March 2020. The country had deployed preparedness and response measures in January 2020, which partly borrowed from measures put in place during the previous outbreaks, including Ebola, in neighbouring countries.

Even though the pandemic had deep repercussions on people’s lives and livelihood, Rwanda’s vigorous response has prevented the worse and put the country on the right recovery path toward a new normal. "No country or continent has been spared the damaging effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. Africa is no exception. As vaccine distribution improves globally, the pandemic is becoming more manageable. Travel and commerce are beginning to recover," Paul Kagame, President of the Republic of Rwanda, said in his special address at the Global Business Forum for Africa in Dubai in October 2021.

The statement pointed out that Rwanda was able to control the pandemic with systematic steps from the beginning. The country took informed decisions based on science and data. In June 2020, Rwanda shifted the case management approach towards decentralisation and scaling-up capacities for public health and other interventions to respond to COVID-19, using existing platforms such as the use of Community Health Workers among others. This non-conventional approach and the role of community health workers produced good results.

Rwanda started its genomic surveillance efforts in May 2020 to ensure early detection of SARS-CoV-2 variants and to potentially contain the spread of variants of concern. The country is putting efforts to meet its target of vaccinating 60 percent of the population of nearly 13 million by the end of 2022. As of 18th November, over 50 percent of the targeted population has received the first dose, with over 30 percent having been fully vaccinated.

Rwanda used technology in community awareness, contacts tracing and patients’ treatment. People and businesses that were affected by lockdowns imposed in the wake of the pandemic have received government support.

No single country can beat this pandemic alone and, as Rwanda strengthened its national response, it has also built upon regional and international collaboration, said the statement.

WAM/ Ibrahim Shukralla

WAM/Binsal AbdulKader/Amjad Saleh