EDITORIAL: We can avoid further lockdowns if we took things seriously

What we had always feared has come to pass, that with the relaxation of Covid-19 preventive measures, it would only need a spark to put metropolitans in the same precarious situation that Rusizi finds itself today.

Kigali, and Rwanda for that matter, cannot afford another total lockdown, but after discovering 21 new cases in the city within a space of five days this week, that possibility was looming even larger,


Luckily, for the time being at least, only six neighbourhoods in Kigali were put under lockdown. But looking on a map the way they are spaced, it is a miracle that they were the only ones picked.


It was not a surprise that the main vectors of the infections were in the already identified risk groups; taximoto operators, building construction workers and bars that exploit the “restaurant” loophole to remain open; as long as they have something to eat, they are good to go.


A few days ago we mentioned within these pages the taximotos high-risk factors and ruffled some feathers, but defeating the virus will need more than emotional approaches but scientific and pragmatic measures.

There are reasons why some sectors that attract large crowds – markets and taxi parks – have been spared; a group of young volunteers who are there to oversee that people adhere to the health precautions.

But do people really need to be reminded of the health hazards associated with carelessness? Covid-19 is a very expensive virus that has brought even the world’s greatest economies to their knees. Why can’t we take that as a stark reminder; that one is only safe if they take their safety seriously? No amount of wealth or prayers will save you, only you can save yourself.


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