in Burundi, the scenario of two municipalities in

In northeastern Burundi, two fairly rural municipalities, Kiremba and Kirundo, have been subjected to a sudden increase in Covid-19 cases since last week. In one week, the pollutants have multiplied by more than three, with almost 600 cases detected.

The situation in Kiremba and Kirundo is all the more worrying given that the authorities do not know what variant it is or where it comes from. They still suspect pollution from neighboring Rwanda, where the Delta variant is now the majority. However, Burundi is one of the last countries to continue to refuse to join the Covax initiative, the mechanism that has been put in place to provide vaccines against Covid-19 to African countries.

The numbers suddenly went up. Of the 119 municipalities in Burundi, only Kirundo and Kiremba collected almost 90% of positive Covid-19 tests across the country last week.

The situation is “very alarming”, a medical source at the scene worried. She talks about at least two observed deaths and several serious cases that have been treated in hospitals in the region. And “the most worrying thing,” according to her, is that “the vast majority of positive cases are limited, in promiscuity, to their homes, which contributes to the spread of the pandemic.”

Officially, the barrier gestures have been in place for more than a year in Burundi “but no one respected them here”, Kirundo province governor Albert Hatungimana acknowledged. Since then, he has taken a number of measures, including a $ 1 fine for shaking hands, kissing or not wearing a mask on public transportation. “It has begun to bear fruit,” he said.

Another problem is the interaction between these two municipalities affected by Covid-19 and the other regions in the country that have so far continued so far without any restrictions. “There is a real risk of spreading throughout the country,” the medical source was concerned. All the more reminiscent of the fact that Burundi does not have the capacity to quickly determine which variant it is. The country is obliged to send WHO samples to Uganda for sequencing.

Burundi and Eritrea are the last two African countries not yet to join the Covax initiative. On social networks, some do not hide their fear of seeing this refusal to vaccinate the population isolate the country and promote the emergence of new varieties. But Gitega remains straight in his boots by declaring that “it is not necessary because the pandemic is so far under control”.

► Read also: Covid-19: worrying situation in Burundi


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