Fears of second wave of infections as public ignores safety measures

Monday June 1 2020

bus

Public transport users line up to board buses. Photo | Cyril Ndegeya  

ARAFAT MUGABO
By ARAFAT MUGABO
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A one-week survey conducted by Rwanda Today in the city of Kigali’s supermarkets, taxi parks, restaurants, wholesale and retail shops has discovered laxity in implementation of safeguard measures in public places after government eased restrictions.

Now, health activists are cautioning that there may be a second wave of the coronavirus if the safe guard measures including social distancing and frequent hand washing are not adhered to.

Currently, wearing masks appears to be the only safety measures that is being successfully implemented. This comes at a time when the general public is waiting for business as usual activities to resume on June 1.

For instance, when the country reported the first case of the virus, all essential businesses that remained operational and residential homes were urged to have either hand washing stations, or alcohol laced hand sanitisers.

But since the partial lifting of the lockdown, many of these places don't have handwashing stations, sanitisers and many available stations have no water, soap and sanitisers.

In Remera for instance, passenger and taxi drivers no longer care about social distancing as one of the measures to prevent the spread of the virus.

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People are less than half a metre to each other while queuing to board the bus despite the governments call for e-payment to prevent the spread of coronavirus, Rwanda Today established that about 90 per cent of all businesses visited in Kigali do not accept e-payment.

A few who accepts especially mobile money payments request the buyer to add transaction costs.

“We may experience the second wave of coronavirus if nothing is done to ensure people get back to measures to prevent the spread” said Dr Aflodis Kagaba, executive director of Health Development Initiative Rwanda.

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