Businesses are facing the risk of reduced supplies as the government enforces vaccine mandates between Kigali and upcountry.
The government is expected to make it mandatory for only fully vaccinated people to travel in and out of Kigali to provinces.
However, there is concern among traders that their suppliers upcountry who yet to get the second dose may be locked out. Currently, Kigali city has the majority of the people who are fully vaccinated.
Business people in Kigali say it could take between three to six months “for many of our suppliers, clients to get fully vaccinated so they can be permitted to return in business,” a Nyarugenge market wholesale trader told Rwanda Today.
“It means business losses for us and loss of existing sources of income for many along the supply chains who didn’t know it was coming into effect this abruptly,” he said.
Health authorities, however, maintain enforcement of vaccine mandates present no discrimination, especially in Kigali where more than 90 per cent of the population were fully vaccinated.
“It's a requirement because we are increasing the coverage of vaccination in districts. We have teams countrywide giving vaccination for dose one, and those two for those who have already received the first dose. It’s a way of inviting people to get vaccinated because vaccines are available…” Health Minister Daniel Ngamije recently told Rwanda Today.
However, with Kigali serving as a one stop market for produce and products needed across, restrictions already obstructed supply chains, sending the cost of most things up, as well as prompting income and business losses.
The government three weeks ago released new Covid-19 protocol following a surge in infections, mainly Omicron variant that is wreaking havoc across the East African region.