President Paul Kagame says Rwanda is making good progress in the fight against the new Coronavirus outbreak but there will be no room to relax until the virus which has turned into a major global pandemic is fully defeated.
The Head of State in a national address aired on the national broadcaster Rwanda Broadcasting Agency (RBA) on Friday commended Rwandans for adhering to the measures put in place by government two weeks ago aimed at averting the spread of the virus to other parts of the country.
In a special way, President Kagame thanked health workers who work day and night to ensure that people are taken care of while ensuring that there are no new infections.
“The world is mobilizing to stop this disease, and since the first case was detected in Rwanda almost two weeks ago, everyone has played their part and made a contribution. I want to thank all of you for your understanding, cooperation and the sacrifices you are making,”
“In particular, I want to thank those in the health sector, for the dedication they continue to demonstrate. They are working day and night, to prevent new infections, to treat those affected, and keep our country safe,” President Kagame said.
The Head of State said that today Rwanda has 54 confirmed cases and that this number will rise as tracing continues, in order to detect, test and treat those who have been in contact with confirmed cases.
He said that it is the best way to assist those who may have been infected and prevent them from infecting their families, friends, and others in the community.
“We made the difficult decision to stop commercial passenger flights, and restrict movement over land borders. This has helped to ensure that no new cases are imported into Rwanda,”
“We suspended internal transport to prevent the virus from spreading around the country. However, coronavirus is highly contagious, and there is not yet an adequate understanding of it. It is our responsibility to ensure that the virus does not spread,” he added.
He called upon everyone to continue following the directives of the government, to remain steadfast regardless of the challenges in order to beat the virus once and for all, and to ensure that loss of lives is prevented.
President Kagame reiterated the need to stay home and ensure self-distancing while those who have signs were urged to contact authorities as soon as possible.
The Head of State recognised that this is not an easy period for citizens, given the restrictions but said that the government would play its role in ensuring that people overcome the challenges presented by the lockdown.
“We know that this is not an easy period for most Rwandans, whose livelihoods have been interrupted across the country. But we ask you to be patient. Although we are making good progress, we cannot afford to relax yet,”
“The Government will continue to do everything possible, to support Rwandans through this challenging time. Measures have been taken, and more will be taken, to build the resilience of our private sector throughout this difficult period,” he noted.
President Kagame said that relevant institutions are working on a social protection plan, to support the most vulnerable in the community, a process he said needs to be fast-tracked.
He said Rwanda is working in collaboration with partners in the region and internationally, to manage this pandemic.
“I especially want to express our appreciation to all who have offered their support, I thank the World Health Organization, and in particular Dr Tedros and Jack Ma and his foundation,”
“I also thank all who have offered their support through the advice they have given us and the equipment they have donated,”
He thanked the Ministry of Health and other government institutions for the commendable job and commitment they have continued to demonstrate through the National Task Force led by the Prime Minister, charged with fighting COVID-19.
President Kagame said that Rwandans have overcome many extraordinary challenges together and this one too will be overcome.
“Our resilience and solidarity is needed now more than ever, to prevail in this struggle against coronavirus. And we have to win this fight,” he said, adding that the measures the country has taken are working.
“What we do today, will determine how quickly we can defeat this pandemic, so that we can continue with our normal lives,” he noted.