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Rwanda Turns to Maths to Test for the Coronavirus

Researchers are using an algorithm when testing samples from groups of people, and then each person in a group if a test comes back positive for COVID-19. The developer of algorithm method, Wilfred Ndifon, a mathematical epidemiologist and director of research at the African Institute for Mathematical Sciences Global Network in Kigali, is creating a software to help lab technicians and reduce the chances for human error. Leon Mutesa, a professor of human genetics and member of Rwanda government’s COVID-19 task force told the Associated Press, reducing the number of samples being tested means they can report to people being tested within a day. Researchers also contend the mathematical approach allows for more tests to be done in a shorter time period and saves more than half of the 50 US dollars for each test. Rwanda is said to have conducted 300,000 coronavirus tests. Rwanda, which has slightly more than 2,100 covid-19 cases, one of the lowest amount of confirmed cases on the continent, is being hailed by the World Health Organization for its response to the pandemic. So far, at least eight people have died of the coronavirus in Rwanda.