The Rwanda National Police has heightened it's operations to rein in businesses, especially hotels and restaurants that continue to breach corona virus containment protocols in place down Hotel Chez Rando for violating Covid-19 The Remera sector on Tuesday last week shutguidelines.
As the government reopens the economy, enforcing Covid-19 protocols is the only viable way of ensuring that we do not go back into lockdown.
Let us recall that it is flaunting of coronavirus protocols that led to a surge in the cases towards the end of the year, forcing the government to reimpose restrictions and a lockdown in Kigali. Currently, some bars remain operational, pretending to operate as restaurants.
In addition, some hotels also operate bars illegally. We also have witnessed irresponsible behaviour, where people who have tested positive violated quarantine and continued going about their business. The patients visited restaurants, banks and other public places infecting others in the process. This was the case, until recently, when the government started tracking movements of people who test positive.
Therefore, the ongoing efforts by law enforcement to ensure Covid-19 guidelines are respected will be critical even as the government rolls out vaccination.
In the absence of responsible behaviour, it is up to authorities to escalate to enforcement especially when that initial step of support and education does not work.
The key sectors of the economy have been punctured by inactivity, bringing the economy to its knees, and as things stand the country cannot afford another lockdown.
We have witnessed jobs losses as companies struggle to stay affloat under the diffuclt economic circumstances brought about by the virus.
It is true many businesses, especially those in hospitality and the service sector in general are on their deathbed, some even closing, but flaunting protocols and putting yourself and your customers in harm's way is reckless.
When the country goes into lockdown or tightens containment measures for instance the suspension of up country travels, it is the vulnerable people in our midst who suffer the most.
It should be in everybody's interest to help slow the spread of coronavirus because it is the only way we can have our lives back. Flouting Covid-19 guidelines not only puts lives at risk but also makes it difficult to reopen the economy.
Protect yourself and others around you by knowing the facts and taking appropriate precautions.
Anyone who comes into close contact with someone who has Covid-19 is at increased risk of becoming infected themselves, and of potentially infecting others, amon them family members.
Slowing down the rate and number of new coronavirus infections is critical to reduce the risk that large numbers of critically ill patients cannot receive life-saving care.
And it goes down to the basics: wearing your mask, avoiding crowds, and keeping your distance from friends and family.