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Rwanda to introduce Covid-19 self-tests

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Dr. Sabin Nsanzimana, the Director-General of Rwanda Biomedical Centre speaks to journalists last year (PHOTO /Twitter)

KIGALI — Rwanda Biomedical Centre (RBC) plans to introduce Covid-19 self-testing kits to facilitate people to carry out tests – urgently needed in the battle to curb the virus spread.

Dr. Sabin Nsanzimana, the Director General of RBC, said in a tweet that his institution’s laboratory is validating a number of self-tests, which will be made available soon.

Covid-19 diagnosis is changing rapidly from long hours and days of Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) turnaround time to Rapid Diagnosis Tests (RDTs) in minutes, he said.

“I believe self-testing is going to make it even easier, faster and cheaper,” he added.

The autotest or self-test that is used elsewhere in the world still involves a nasal swab.

However, it’s quicker and less unpleasant than the ones carried out by healthcare staff because the cotton bud does not go into the nose as far.

The methods have been useful in some European countries like the UK, Austria, Germany and Portugal.

The idea comes weeks after the government announced that plans were underway to bring down the cost of Covid tests.

Nsanzimana said that the aim is to reduce the cost RDTs to around Rwf5,000 or Rwf6,000 from Rwf10,000

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