The Ministry of Education on Sunday announced that all schools in the City of Kigali would immediately suspend physical classes for two weeks as part of broader efforts to try to contain a recent spike in coronavirus cases and deaths.
When the government recently introduced the option of people walking into a private clinic and get tested for Covid-19 and later integrated Covid into public health insurance schemes, the idea was to ease access to testing and care services.
It is mandatory for everyone who has tested positive to stay at home, with only those with severe disease taken to isolation centres.
And, when one is recovering from home, they are required to isolate themselves for 14 days and follow all of the guidelines to protect everyone else, both at their home and in the community from getting infected.
Unfortunately, it has recently emerged that some people have taken advantage of this to hide their positive status and continue to freely mingle with the rest of the community, putting millions of Rwandans at risk of contracting the virus.
Whether we see it or not, the setbacks that each additional individual who is infected with Covid-19 suffers eventually trickle down to each one of us every single day.
The national lockdown imposed by the government in March last year left many people jobless and businesses closed.
Our actions today should not only be guided by the spirit of ‘ubuntu’ but also from the bad experiences that we have already gone through in less than one year.
Our main mission in the face of adversity should be to take individual responsibility to protect ourselves and others. That’s all it takes.
The government says that it will hold any patient found roaming around criminally liable and he or she will be slapped with charges relating to the wilful intent to transmit an illness to others.
This is the right call but does it really need to get to that?
Our country is currently overwhelmed putting all the human and financial resources it has in ensuring that each Rwandan gets the support that they may need during this crisis.
As responsible citizens, our core responsibility during this period is to provide our support through observing the standard operating procedures of washing hands, wearing facemasks, and keeping the one metre social distance.
We can only leave this pandemic behind if we hold ourselves and others to very high standards of responsibility and accountability. Short of this, the virus could easily outsmart us, or force us into yet another biting lockdown.