COVID-19: Lockdown in the Offing? Rwandans Await Cabinet Decisions

President Kagame chairs the virtual cabinet meeting on Monday. Photos/Village Urugwiro.

With the number of New Coronavirus cases on the rise in Rwanda, many Rwandans are anxiously awaiting the outcomes of the cabinet meeting chaired by President Paul Kagame on Monday evening, which was expected to review measures preventive measures against the COVID-19.

“President Kagame is now chairing a virtual cabinet meeting during which measures to continue the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic will be discussed,” the President’s Office tweeted, a day after the Ministry of Education directed all schools in the City of Kigali to temporarily close as a means to curb the spread of the New Coronavirus.

The Ministry of Education on Sunday announced that all schools would close doors for at least two weeks amid growing cases of COVID-19, following reports of several schools reporting positive cases.

“In order to further contain the spread of COVID-19, especially in the City of Kigali, the Ministry of Education, in partnership with the Ministry of Health, would like to inform all stakeholders that,” the Ministry said.

To cabinet meeting was held virtually to emphasize the seriousness of the situation.

The closure of schools plus the growing number of cases has triggered a debate on social media, with some arguing that a short lockdown would help curb the spread while others argue that the economy is not ready for yet another lockdown, considering that it is yet to recover.

“To all people who say a total lockdown…A total lockdown is not the solution so far, all we need first is to understand that we can overcome this disease through complying in good [manners] the instructions given of preventing it, and serious measures to those violate them [deliberately],” argued one Erick Castor Dushime.

Dushime said a total lockdown leads to depression and hunger for some people, leading to lack of immunity in the bodies. However, others like Hassan Kibirango, a Pastor at Christian Life Assembly (CLA) believe a lockdown is a tenable solution.

“I foresee a mini lockdown. The numbers of new COVID19 cases are becoming unerringly high, especially in Kigali. Potent way numbers can subside is through a lock down. It will slow the spread. Its undesirable but could be the only solution currently,” Kibirango says.

The Prime Minister Dr. Edouard Ngirente in the virtual cabinet meeting.

However, Johnny Kayihura, an entrepreneur, believes a lockdown temporarily stops the spread but leaves a huge impact on the economy.

“We had a lock down 10 months ago but it only stopped the spread temporarily. But the elephant in the room, can the country afford another lockdown? It’s an economic disaster,” Kayihura argues.

In just over a week, Rwanda registered 1,400, with about 800 of them registered only in Kigali. On Sunday, 182 cases were registered while on Saturday, 277 cases were recorded. So far 142 deaths have been registered while total cases are are now 11, 032.

 

 

 




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