Rwandan minister of Local Administration, Prof. Anastase Shyaka on Monday warned of dire consequences, including a possible return to lockdown if Covid-19 regulations continue to be flouted by the public.Shyaka said violations of government measures put in place to control the spread of coronavirus infections continue to escalate in the country.
The senior official explained that another lockdown is possible when the public keeps failing to adhere to directives, threatening gains made towards fighting the virus.
“If Rwandans continue to violate Covid-19 preventive guidelines, we might go into another lockdown,” he warned.
The number of daily coronavirus cases had fallen significantly in the past month, but the threat of new hotspots lingers as restrictions are eased and infections growing lately.
Shyaka cautioned that people should not afford to be complacent about protecting themselves due to lower daily cases.
He said relaxing prevention measures could worsen the situation.
On Monday, Rwandan health officials announced that 13 cases had been diagnosed in Nsinda prison in Rwamagana, a district in the east of Rwanda.
“We shall go back to the stay-at-home life in two or three weeks if we continue like this,” Shyaka warned.
He equated the current Covid-19 situation in Rwanda to a turning point which must reset the course of war against the pandemic.
Violators caught in the weekend were held for the night at different stations in Kigali where they were reminded of the importance of obeying safety directives.
They also pay up to Rwf25,000 (about $ 25 USD) in fines.
Hospitality businesses that host people after curfew and for prohibited events are also subject to fines and closures.
Meanwhile the police have insisted on “maximum compliance” from the general public even as most restrictions are being loosened and life seems almost back to normal.
“Such reckless human behaviours can be the source of further spread of Covid-19 with the risk of taking Rwanda back to the bad days of the pandemic including the lockdown,” said Spokesperson CP Jean Bosco Kabera.
The weekend arrests for violations resulted from tip-offs from random citizens, according to the police.
Kabera called on citizens to take responsibility and report such violations.
“Covid-19 is still with us and it is spread by people. We still see new infections and sadly, some people have succumbed to the virus. So, whatever you do and wherever you are running your errands, remember that you can be the source or someone next to you can infect you,” the senior police officer said.