EDITORIAL: There is a natural mystic (lockdown) blowing through the air

The spike of new infections of the Coronavirus on Sunday coincided with authorities carrying out the highest number of tests in one day.

It has always been argued that the more tests are taken, the more active cases are likely to be discovered. That is what happened on Sunday when 3,495 tests, nearly three times the daily average, were carried out and 41 new cases discovered.


While most cases are still around the Rusizi and Rusumo clusters, some cases have been discovered in Nyamasheke, Rubavu and, to a lesser extent, Kigali.


One might argue that that all those locations are at the borders, the most vulnerable locations. But now it seems a few cases managed to sneak into Kigali and there is a lot of apprehension in the air.


Is Kigali about to see another round a total lockdown (Guma mu rugo)? That is what many fear. Maybe Kigali residents needed another wakeup call because, ever since the easing up of the lockdown conditions and taximotos allowed back on the streets, many returned to their old reckless behaviors.

Since only restaurants were the only ones allowed to operate but with strict social distancing conditions, bars that could conjure up roast meat, chips and Igitoki suddenly adopted the “restaurant” label and were back in business. Their only limitations were the curfew hours, otherwise it was business as usual, including the good old zero social distancing.

But the partial lifting of the lockdown also gave authorities a clear picture of the state of things; where to tighten and where to relax. But if more cases are discovered outside the usual perimeters, Kigalians could do better to revisit the lyrics in Bob Marley’s “Natural Mystic”.

They only need to listen carefully to understand the dangers of the virus.


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