Mask on, social distance observed and hand washing or use of hand sanitizer, a golden rule in every public place, Rwanda has maintained its stance in the fight against more spread of COVID-19 and the outcomes, now promising.
The battle which started early 2020 and intensified since March 14 of the same year when first case was detected in an Indian traveler never relented in Rwanda, rather measures replaced others every other two weeks or so.
The cabinet meeting, always chaired by President Paul Kagame was obliged to take measures which did not always please everyone though they intend to save everyone.
They include a lockdown which, on several occasions shut down cities and all villages of the country or specific sectors of the country.
All measures are always informed by the status or spread of the virus in a given area and how the community is responding to it.
In other words, loosening in observing preventive measures, always leads to more spread of the virus, and thus, severe measures from the cabinet to reverse the trend.
It has been a long and tiresome journey especially for the frontline team which include medical practitioners and others involved in contact tracing, case management at large, and recently, vaccination against the pandemic.
The fight would especially be complicated whenever there was a new variant or loosening in a big community like a market, or an influx of people in the country.
Since March 14,2020 to date, COVID-19 was confirmed among 99,250 but 96,926 patients who represent 97.7% had recovered as of October 21,2021.
Unfortunately 1314 people representing 1.3% died of COVID-19 in nearly two years since the pandemic started.
Vaccination against COVID-19 which came to support existing efforts since March 2021, one year after the pandemic was confirmed in the country, has greatly contributed to the decline of new cases, patients in critical condition and death.
‘They came from continental initiatives of which Rwanda is part, like COVAX, and several donation from countries. The country also purchases more.
‘The more jabs taken, the more resilient Rwanda becomes and the more economies are relaxed.
Cumulatively, 3,434,690 people have received the first dose of the vaccine, compared to 1,744,937 people who received the second dose.
Despite the more than 1000 people who lost loved ones to COVID-19, despite the jobs lost in this process of the fight against the global pandemic, despite the businesses that are no more, and the social life that was affected in a way or the other, Rwanda could see the light at the end of the tunnel very soon.
Rwanda keenly follows the advice of World Health Organisation(WHO) through this fight and it is paying off.
“We believe in science”, was the answer President Paul Kagame used to give every journalist who asked him to give his take on the “medicine” against COVID-19 that were said to have been discovered here and there and the vaccine.
In the last seven days, the country registered 301 new cases, and three deaths, which means that on some days, no fatality is registered, no Rwandan family is bereaved because of COVID-19 pandemic.
Nearly, if not all businesses have now reopened, latest being the bars which had remained closed until mid September this year.
Churches also recently recovered their permission to resume one of their activities- immersion baptism following the resumption of swimming sport.
Rwanda is now going extra miles to manufacture vaccines which will supply the region and beyond.
Whatever success stories have registered however, Rwanda maintains zero tolerance to attitudes/ behaviors that may take the country backward in the fight against COVID-19.