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Rwanda Launches Innovative Covid-19 Batch Testing

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Group Tests with Individual Results

Wilfred Ndifon, a Rwanda researcher has created an innovative pool testing method that enables multiple people to have their samples tested together for the coronavirus without the need for single tests to accurately determine individual results that come up positive.

Leon Mutesa, Professor of human genetics and member of Rwanda government’s COVID-19 task force, explains how it works, “Now, we’re pooling the tests because by mixing the samples, and creating smaller pools, we reduce the number of samples to be tested, which makes the process very fast, in one day we report and give feedback to the patients. This approach can be applied not only in low-income countries but also in high-income countries.”

Less Time and Less Money

The algorithm, based on a mathematical formula, has refined the process — enabling more tests be administered in a shorter time. A lifesaver for nations or health institutions short on supplies; In addition, this assures, in turn, less of unknowingly spreading the virus when awaiting results while also reducing the entire cost by half — which typically is around 50 USD. This revolutionary method gives hope and confidence to health workers who had witnessed the horrifying spread of the coronavirus in Europe.

Rwanda has one of the lowest confirmed virus caseloads in Africa with just over 2,100 infections. The East African nation has conducted more than 300,000 tests for the virus. The World Health Organisation has globally acknowledged the country’s excellent response to the pandemic. Authorities have credited citizens with cooperating with the government’s guidelines.

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