Monday, February 6, 2023
spot_img
HomeHealthBurundi allows international officials to forgo covid-19 vaccine

Burundi allows international officials to forgo covid-19 vaccine

Despite the reluctance of Burundi’s leadership to opt for the coronavirus vaccination, the Burundian Ministry of public health have assented, this 5th of July 2021, to the United Nations and International Non-Governmental Organisations staff members to be administered the COVID-19 vaccine making them the first to receive it in the East African country

Burundi has so far succeeded to contain the pandemic as reported by health experts and the ministry of public health officials. Photo The Ministry of Public Health Mr. Thaddée Ndikumana/PhotoFile

The UNHCR representative in Burundi was among the first UN officials to get the jab in the United Nations Clinic based in Bujumbura, the Burundian economic capital.  On his tweeter account, he said that with the COVID-19 hitting harder with its Delta variant, “no one is safe until everyone is safe.”

“We must create a safer work and life environment for all of us,” said Abdul Karim Ghoul, UNHCR representative in Burundi, shortly after he got the jab.

The campaign started after the Government of Burundi, though reluctant to covid-19 vaccine, allowed the United Nations and International NGOs staff to be vaccinated.

While launching the activities, Xavier Crespin, WHO representative in Burundi said that even after the jab, people are bound to observe social distancing and respect other measures as the continent faces the third wave of the corona virus.

Burundi joined the battle against the pandemic in March 2020 after the first 2 cases were diagnosed; one imported from Rwanda and another from Saudi Arabia. Since then, cases have slowly soared. A series of efforts were put in to fight against it. 

After taking oath in June 2020, the President of Burundi, Mr. Evariste Ndayishimiye vowed to fight the pandemic stepping up not only by reducing the prices of water and soap to allow easy sanitization, but also by kicking start mass screening both first (in June 2020) and second (in the beginning of 2021).

As of July 4, according to Burundi World Health Organization (WHO), during the national aggregate extending from March 31, 2020, to July 03, 2021, 364948 tests were conducted. 5521 tested positive for covid-19 among which 4547 cases reported nationally (82, 36%) and 974 imported cases (17, 64%). The positivity rate was 1.51%, remaining below the infection control threshold of 5%, reported Burundi WHO.

Moreover, of 5515 people under-treatment in the same period, 5428 have been discharged from hospital facilities which represent a recovery rate of 98.39%. WHO reports that, this July 4th, 79 people were still hospitalized while Burundi records 8 fatalities representing a case fatality rate of 0.14%.

“Due to this epidemiological pattern, Burundi is under the WHO Regional Office’s label of low-incidence community transmission. This refers to countries whose incidence rate is between 11 and 100 per million inhabitants over the last 14 days and where at least 80% of new cases are associated with a confirmed case,” reads Burundi WHO reports apart.

Burundi has so far succeeded to contain the pandemic as reported by health experts and the ministry of public health officials. As of July 3rd, only 10 [which represents daily records for the past 7 days according to Burundi WHO data] people have tested positive for covid-19 which is an average of 1, 17% resulting from 897 tests. ‘The majority of these cases are asymptomatic or of minor symptomatology,’ reports Burundi WHO.

The pandemic is believed to have originated in China (Wuhan) in 2019. Globally, according to WHO data, there have been 185, 291,530 confirmed cases of COVID-19 along with 4, 010, 834 deaths, until this 9 July 2021. 

As of 8 July 2021, a total of 3, 078, 787, 056 vaccine doses have been administered. The very first jab was administered in December 2020.

East African Community is not an exception

Rwanda, Uganda, Kenya, and South Sudan have already joined the world in the brutal fight against covid-19 as they started vaccinating their citizens. 

On the other side, Tanzania is set to order COVID-19 Vaccines to WHO worth $470 as the country is facing a third wave of covid-19. Its major cities, including Arusha, Dar-Es-Salaam, Mwanza, and Dodoma, are the most hit.

Uganda, on its part, experienced a spike of COVID-19 cases. Recently in June, the number of cases increased what led to a 42-day total lockdown. The president of Uganda imposed closure of all borders, restricted inter-district movements.

Burundi is the only country in the EAC that did not impose any of the hard restrictions except closing the terrestrial borders and its airspace. At the time being, boarders with Tanzania and DRC as well as the only one international airport of the country have reopened with measures to curb the spread of the virus. However, ground frontiers with Rwanda are still closed.

Among the measures is a mandatory COVID-19 test at the entrance of Melchior Ndadaye International Airport which costs $100 for foreigners and $30 for nationals with exception to students. If tested positive, the person chooses either to be taken to hospital or quarantined at their home.

Among the measures is a mandatory COVID-19 test at the entrance of Melchior Ndadaye International Airport which costs $100 for foreigners and $30 for nationals with exception to students. If tested positive, the person chooses either to be taken to hospital or quarantined at their home.

At the beginning of this week, after the vaccine was launched, Burundi’s tweeter users were at cloud nine, appreciating the effort of the UN bureau with a grim of hope. They expected that nationals would also be allowed to take a jab but no official communication on the matter has yet been made by the country’s administration.

Reported by Espoir Iradukunda and Edited and approved for publication by Egide H. Ngenzebuhoro

Espoir Iradukundahttps://insideburundi.org
Burundian Data-Driven Investigative Journalist passionate about science reporting based health and environment beats.
RELATED ARTICLES

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

- Advertisment -spot_img

Most Popular