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Rwanda is ranked sixth globally among the countries that handled Covid-19 outbreak best, according to a new analysis that found smaller populations and capable institutions are the major factors in managing the global pandemic.

The COVID Performance Index compiled by the Lowy Institute ranked 98 countries’ handling of the coronavirus outbreak, finding New Zealand performed the best while Australia sits in eighth place.

New Zealand, Vietnam, Taiwan, Thailand, Cyprus, Rwanda, Iceland, Australia, Latvia, and Sri Lanka are top 10, in that order.

In October last year, the World Health Organisation (WHO) applauded Rwanda “for instituting a strong system” that enabled the country to “effectively confront” the Covid-19 pandemic.

Ever since the outbreak started, Rwanda has imposed strict measures such as a total lockdown, where all activities apart from essential ones are halted, in bid to contain the pandemic. The capital, Kigali, is now under a second lockdown.

Rwanda has, among others, deployed robots in Covid-19 treatment centres, and reduced contact between medics and Covid-19 patients, therefore reducing risks to contract the virus.

Besides continuously scaling up mass testing, the country set up a command post, a coordination unit where multi-sector officers meet to coordinate the tracing of contacts and other interventions.