The pandemic hits hard the East African Community region as Burundi records Delta variant first three cases on Thursday.
Three men aged 18, 33, and 42 tested positive for the COVID-19 Delta variant . As reported by the Burundi’s minister of public health Thaddée Ndikumana, all the three cases were imported.
“Two came from Uganda and one from Somalia”, he said.
Speaking to journalists at the WHO bureau in Bujumbura, the minister added that all the three cases had intensive health facilities after which they were discharged from hospital.
The region is facing a fatal third wave of coronavirus. According to the health minister, when there are variants in the region, they cannot divert from Burundi.
After they [the three] tested positive for the Delta variant, contact tracing was conducted at the end of which tests came negative.
“WHO’s strategy is to screen the maximum number of symptomatic cases so as to trace the evolution of each on a regular basis,” added Dr. Ndikumana.
To date, said the minister, individual screening is on-going. If someone feels any suspicious symptoms, we encourage them to get tested in any designated hospital.
Data from the ministry of Health and WHO reported on Tuesday the 13th of July 2021 that 1,096 tests were conducted in which 18 people tested positive, 20 were discharged while 6 were admitted to hospital making a total of 166 active cases.
Same statistics show that since the pandemic erupted in 2020, 376,314 tests were undertaken, 5,723 people came out infectious, and 5,545 were discharged while 8 people died.
Regionally, Burundi is least affected with the lowest death toll and infection rate, while Kenya is the most affected. The latter has been battling the fourth wave of COVID-19 while the rest are facing the third wave including Tanzania, Rwanda, and Uganda.
Source: WHO EAC states’ data as of the 16th of July, 2021
As of WHO’s data released on the 16th of July, only four EAC states have so far been vaccinating their citizens including Kenya, (1,477.916 doses administered), Uganda (1,058,084), Rwanda (398,096), and South Sudan (55,915) on one hand.
On the other hand, Burundi and Tanzania _which were refractory to the vaccine_ have been flexible as most countries of the region are facing a deadly third strain of COVID-19.
On the 14th of July, while officially opening a screening centre at Kobero (the border with Tanzania in Muyinga, North-Eastern Burundi), the Minister of Home Affairs, Community development and Public Security Gervais Ndirakobuca, also president of the anti-coronavirus taskforce, said that Burundi is not against the vaccine. For him, the proof is that international officials in Burundi have been vaccinated.
In the same run, the list of vaccines WHO has already validated includes Pfizer-BioNTech, the two AstraZeneca serums manufactured in India and South Korea, Johnson & Johnson serum, called Janssen, Moderna, and Sinopharm called Sinovac-Corona Vac
As of now, WHO has identified four Variants of Concern (VOC) including the B.1.1.7 (Alpha), B.1.351 (Beta), B.1.617.2 (Delta), and P.1 (Gamma).
Reported by Espoir Iradukunda, edited and approved for publication by Cédrick Irakoze