We have to win the fight, Kagame on COVID-19

President Paul Kagame has said that the government will do everything possible to support Rwandans during the Coronavirus containment period which is characterized by social and economic challenges.

The President was addressing the nation on 27th March on the global coronavirus pandemic. 

 

Kagame said that the government was well aware that a section of Rwandans are facing challenging especially those whose livelihoods had been interrupted promising  intervention.

 

He requested for patience among Rwandans  during the virus’ containment period saying that despite the good progress that is being made, the country cannot afford to slow down on measures. 

 

He promised that the government will do everything within its means to support Rwandans during the challenging times. 

“We know that this is not an easy period for most Rwandans, whose livelihoods have been interrupted across the country. But we ask you to be patient. Although we are making good progress, we cannot afford to relax yet. The Government will continue to do everything possible, to support Rwandans through this challenging time,” the President said. 

Kagame said that further measures will be taken to facilitate building the resilience of the private sector throughout the containment period. 

A social protection plan is also being developed to support the most vulnerable community members, he said. 

“Relevant institutions are working on a social protection plan, to support the most vulnerable in our community. We need to speed this up. We are also working in collaboration with our partners in the region and internationally, to manage this pandemic,” the Head of State said.

Kagame called for calmness as the number of confirmed cases continues to go up in the coming days from the current 54, as of Friday. 

He explained that as health practitioners conduct tracing and tests of those who have come into contact with confirmed cases, the number is bound to go up.

 However, he allayed fears noting that it was the best way to help the infected and prevent further contractions. 

“Today, we have 54 confirmed cases of coronavirus in our country. This number will rise as tracing continues, in order to detect, test and treat those who have been in contact with confirmed cases. It is the best way to assist those who may have been infected, and prevent them from infecting their families, friends, and others in our community,” he said. 

Kagame called on Rwandans to uphold the values, they are renowned for; resilience and solidarity to win in the fight against the pandemic. 

“As Rwandans, we have overcome many extraordinary challenges together. Our resilience and solidarity is needed now more than ever, to prevail in this struggle against coronavirus. And we have to win this fight,” he said. 

He said that while the government had taken some difficult decisions such as temporary suspension of passenger flights and restricting movement across borders, there was also a responsibility on all citizens and residents to curb the virus’ spread. 

“It is our responsibility to ensure that the virus does not spread. This is why I want to call upon everyone to continue following the directives of the government, to remain steadfast no matter the difficulty in order to beat this virus once and for all, and ensure we prevent the loss of many lives,” he said in the televised address. 

Among the directives that have been issued by the Ministry of Health include; staying at home,  ensuring social distancing, frequent and thorough hand-washing as well as reaching authorities in the event on experiences symptoms. 

“The measures we have taken are working. What we do today, will determine how quickly we can defeat this pandemic, so that we can continue with our normal lives.” 

The President praised efforts of health practitioners, other government institutions under a task force led by The Prime Minister for their dedication and drive to prevent new infections and treat all those affected. 

To friends and partners of Rwanda such as Jack Ma and Foundation, WHO Director Dr. Tedros Ghebreyesus, Kagame expressed gratitude for support through advice and equipment availed.

cmwai@newtimesrwanda.com

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