Every evening Rwandans wait with bated breath for the latest updates on the coronavirus. They applaud when more people recover or no new infections are found.
The update has captivated many and they cannot go to bed before getting the latest news to the point of it becoming an obsession.
The two unfortunate deaths last week of two patients last week seems to have shaken many into taking the virus seriously. Ever since the pandemic broke out, Rwandans had been spared the level of body count reported elsewhere; it was as though it was on top of its game.
But now reality is beginning to sink in, the threat is real as it is lurking at the door waiting to strike. That is what the residents of Rusizi and Rubavu are finding out today.
The fact that since most infections were discovered in Kigali or at the borders of both Uganda and Tanzania, hundreds of kilometres away from the Western Province, they might have thought they were untouchable and they continued their normal cross-border contacts with eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). Now they are paying a heavy price.
Coming back to the issue of Covid-19 updates; some countries are not telling it as it is thereby endangering their neighbours. They have put a deliberate lid on the state of affairs and there have been even reports of many suspicious deaths and burying victims hurriedly in the thick of the night.
Rwanda’s flanks are its Achilles’ heel due to the carelessness, incompetence or secretive behaviour on the other side. The only thing we can do about is keeping our people on their toes by giving them regular updates and scaring the daylights out of them, that it is not time to be complacent with the virus.