President Paul Kagame has urged Rwandans to remain patient and vigilant following a decision by the government to put on hold plans to reopen more sections of the economy, including travel between provinces and resuming of motorcycle public transportation means, which were supposed to be restored today.
However, the plans were put on hold by the announcement from the Prime Minister following several cases of New Coronavirus which were identified in the Western Province district of Rusizi on Sunday.
President Kagame said on Monday while officiating at the swearing-in of new government officials, that the government understands it was a difficult decision that affected the lives of many people who were planning to resume their economic activities but urged for patience as new safety measures are worked out.
“It is important for citizens to understand the measures that are being taken to fight this virus. What it requires of us is not just to wait for one day or time we can predict, none of us can say we know the date this will end,”
“The only progress we can control is the one resulting from the measures we have put in place. Things are not only dependent on a set date. It is also dependent on what happens in that time. When there are new developments, we have to re-evaluate if our predictions still stand. That is why we have chosen to take more time,” President Kagame said.
He urged citizens to be patient for a few more days as the situation is reassessed and new measures issued, to ensure the safety of all people even as the country looks to reopen key segments of the economy that remain closed to avert the spread of COVID-19.
“We understand that when one is expecting things to change and they don’t, it gets frustrating. But it is what we have to do to deal with this pandemic. Tomorrow during cabinet, we will decide the way forward,”
“I ask you to be patient, every institution is working to confront this virus while also finding ways to return to a normal life. We will do everything we can and leave no solution unexplored. I believe that nothing can stand in our way,” President Kagame said.
The Head of State also took time off to thank members of the government and the people for working closely to contain the virus, saluting the selflessness of officials who have worked tooth and nail since the outbreak to ensure that the country successfully contains the spread.
The Minister of Health Dr Daniel Ngamije said on Monday that the decision to stop the planned restoration of provincial travel and ‘moto’ transport was informed by the assessment done in Rusizi district where five people, traders and truck drivers, tested positive.
He said further assessment will be done and if it is found to be safe, the said services will be reopened but added that at the moment priority is give to safety of all.
Rwanda has so far registered 370 New Coronavirus cases and one death. The government says teams of experts will be deployed in cross-border towns to monitor the situation and keep the possible spread of the virus in check.