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180 COVID-19 patients on ventilators

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The Minister of State in Charge of Primary Healthcare at the Ministry of Health (MoH), Lt Col Dr. Tharcisse Mpunga has said that 180 COVID-19 patients are on ventilators to help them breathe and urged the general public to adhere to instituted preventive directives to minimize effects of the pandemic.

He made the revelation on Saturday appearing in a talk show ‘Urubuga rw’Itangazamakuru’ translated as ‘media platform’ aired on Isango Star.

On 29th May 2021, Rwanda recorded 14 new cases and zero death. At the time, the country had registered 26,892 total infections and 352 COVID-19 related deaths since the pandemic emerged on 14th March 2020.

As new infections decreased, the country lifted some restrictions allowing wedding receptions and reopening of other activities.

On 7th June, Rwanda experienced a wave of new infections hitting 62 in one day and subsequently increased to 127 on 11th June and 622 on 21st June 2021.

Since then, new infections continued to rise on daily basis hitting over 500 and 900 cases.

Figures from the Ministry of Health released on Saturday show that 47 667 people have been tested positive since the pandemic emerged in Rwanda of whom 15 110 are active cases, 32 006 recovered while 551 succumbed to the virus.

Appearing in the talk show, Dr. Mpunga attributed the surge in new infections to complacency and the existence of Delta variant.

“We have approximately 15,000 COVID-19 patients of whom 90% are receiving treatment under the home-based care. A total of 350 patients are admitted at COVID-19 treatment centers including 180 who are on ventilators,” he said.

Dr. Mpunga warned the public against complacency considering the fact that the new Delta variant of COVID-19 spreads faster.

“It should be everyone’s responsibility to comply with instituted COVID-19 containment measures because the pandemic cannot be defeated if people don’t own the fight,” he stated.

The Spokesperson of Rwanda National Police (RNP), CP John Bosco Kabera also highlighted that the spike in new cases reflects public’s complacency against preventive directives.

He explained that over 100,000 people were caught violating preventive measures in the past ten days.

“These include people violating measures in many ways where some of them were not wearing face masks, didn’t respect social distancing and violated curfew hours,” he said.

“There are over 4000 people caught in hidden bars, over 2000 were caught holding parties at home. We also impounded 1000 vehicles, motorcycles and bicycles violating curfew hours,” added CP Kabera.

He warned people against violating preventive directives and urged them to support national efforts to defeat the pandemic.

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