Business activity in Kigali’s commercial hub of Nyabugogo is set to pick up Tuesday with the reopening of Kwa-Mutangana market, nearly two weeks after the reopening of the Kigali City Market (both facilities had been closed after they emerged as Covid-19 hotspots).
But it won’t be business as usual as authorities have issued a set of guidelines to ensure that both vendors and buyers engage in safe transactions. As is the case with other major markets, the facility will initially operate at less than half its capacity, with traders asked to work in double shifts, while those who deal in fruit, vegetables and Irish potatoes will temporarily remain at the makeshift market at Gitikinyoni.
The reopening of the two markets, despite the fact that the virus continues to lurk, attests to the Government’s resolve to continue walking a fine line between doing everything necessary to prevent Covid-19 from getting out of hand, and protecting livelihoods.
Indeed, since the loosening of the full lockdown, many trades and professions have gradually returned to work – albeit with unprecedented difficulty – and there is hope that businesses will soon pick up if a major outbreak can be avoided.
But it will take everyone’s effort to ensure that the country continues on a positive trajectory, away from the devastating effects of Covid-19. And it starts with every individual, every household, every business and every institution.
That’s why it is vitally important that the traders (and buyers) at Kwa-Mutangana market, at the Kigali City Market, and other markets in the capital and elsewhere in the country dutifully observe each guideline as required by health authorities.
The same goes for every person, because the fight against this pandemic is won or lost at the individual level. At least for now – until an effective vaccine or cure has been found. Following health guidelines is in everyone’s best interest as it will help accelerate our return to any semblance of normalcy.