It's the duty of all to step up fight against pandemic

Wednesday January 13 2021
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A Red Cross volunteer measures a man's temperature before he is allowed to enter Nakasero market in Uganda's capital Kampala, on April 1, 2020. PHOTO | SUMY SADURNI | AFP


The Covid-19 virus has refused to subside, triggering a second wave of lockdown of economies across the globe.

It is spreading worldwide like a wildfire, and yet to avert it, all that we as individuals need to do is take simple precautions like physical distancing, wearing a mask and washing hands thoroughly with soap.

Many of our neighboring countries are still not buying into this Covid-19 reality. Presidential campaigns are ongoing in some countries and in others, no testing of people is being conducted daily.

Rwanda on the other hand has stuck to its guns. Since day one, daily Covid-19 updates are provided every evening and the cabinet sits twice a month to decide the next steps.

The government has also insisted on a slow reopening of the economy. However, all this progress is now being hampered by a second wave of the pandemic; a deadlier wave that has claimed half of the over 100 that succumbed to the virus since March.

We know how it is spread. We know how to avoid it. So why is it becoming a very difficult virus to contain? Truth be told, the government has done and continues to do its best efforts in curbing the virus. Instead, it is us the public, individuals and the business community that appears to be taking this fight for granted.


By now, it should be obvious that this virus will not just disappear like some world leaders prophesied earlier. We are going to have to live with it, and as long as a vaccine is not yet at hand, we have no option but to religiously follow simple precautions provided by the Ministry of Health and the World Health Organisation.

The business community has to understand that for them to survive; they have to abide by these regulations. But instead, take a stroll downtown and you will be met with a very shocking scene. Restaurants, hotels and small businesses have continued to flaunt these guidelines.

They only remember to follow them once they see a policeman or when there are government inspectors nearby.

Many people walking on the streets are wearing masks, but not as they should. Instead, they are covering the chins, or only the mouth, hence still getting exposed to the virus in case they meet an infected person.

House parties are ongoing with so many meetings of which none knows the Covid-19 status of the other.

Those with Covid-19 symptoms are taking too long to go for tests, hoping that it is a normal cold that will just disappear with a few lemons. As individuals, we are making it way too difficult for our country to get back to normal. Government just cannot continue to arrest people, impound cars for violating curfew and punish businesses with fines. At what point shall we as individuals understand that this is beyond hoping for the government to declare the pandemic over, without us needing to do our part? Let us now be reminded of the basics. Coronavirus is easy to fight, but the fight must be constant every day.

Maintain social distance, wash your hands with soap frequently and wear a mask.