COVID-19: Your home is your safety

By CP John Bosco Kabera
On 21 April 2020 at 09:41

Your safety from getting infected or infecting others with Coronavirus as well as offering our medics with an upper hand against the pandemic rests in your hands.

It’s just simple; comply with all the government’s preventive measures and recommended health and hygiene practices.

Your family members, friends and all residents of Rwanda will be safe when you are safe.

The pandemic has so far claimed over 165,000 lives globally, with millions others on the verge. It is the problem at hand—at your doorsteps right now.

But we can win it together by staying positive to the government safety directives.
It’s a serious threat but can be easily won by just an individual positive attitude and practices. Just as simple as that.

Rwanda hasn’t registered any COVID - 19 fatalities so far. On April 17, the Cabinet Meeting chaired by His Excellency Paul Kagame, the President of the Republic of Rwanda, extended the lockdown until April 30.

As usual, we’re all required to continue doing what we are told to do every day.
Stay at home, avoid unnecessary movements including any outdoor sports activities; leave your home only and only when you are going for ESSENTIAL services (healthcare, shopping for food and banking services).

Even then, it’s crucial that you plan your essential movements ahead and in order of preference and prioritize the nearest service providers to prevent what would otherwise turn into unnecessary movements.

Don’t leave your home in a group(s), practice social distancing, wash your hands regularly, respect hygiene practices at the entry and inside of any facility you enter in.

Visits are prohibited, bars are closed, borders are closed (with exception of cargo trucks and returning residents of Rwanda); movements between cities and districts are not allowed; restaurants are permitted to operate but only to deliver takeaway services and so are motorcycles which are only required to deliver essential goods.
Authorized trucks carry not more than two people including the driver.

Those using private vehicles to access essential services shouldn’t carry more than two people including the driver.

It is also prohibited to take your family when going for essential services.
People in vehicles transporting essential service providers should observe social distancing.

Agricultural activities are permitted to continue but observing recommended social distancing and other guidelines.

Schools and church services remain closed. This doesn’t mean that you have to relocate religious services to your home, because it’s equally not allowed and may lead to your arrest and other penalties.

A number of people have been arrested holding religious services in their homes, those who relocate bars to their homes or invite friends to their homes just to drink and other unnecessary social gatherings.

As Rwanda National Police (RNP), charged with enforcing these directives, we urge all residents of Rwanda to stay in that line, which guarantees the safety of everyone against Coronavirus.

Vehicles authorized to move in this period should only transport authorized people and essential goods; people permitted to continue operating and providing essential services in this period should not abuse the privilege or engage in other acts of violations, which will not be tolerated. Provide the services and go back home.

When Police stop you, don’t lie to them; some people have been detained for this and their automobiles impounded. Don’t turn your shop into a bar; it will be closed and you will be arrested. Loitering on the road will lead to your arrest.

RNP has, since day one, prioritized awareness and educating the public on these directives. This is large because enforcement becomes much easier when people are informed with no need of force. You shouldn’t be forced to protect your life.

We have used (and still use) our social media platforms and other media channels to send out audio-visual messages, public speakers mounted on vehicles and drones which trek through streets, markets, trading and residential areas to elaborate and reinforce national efforts against the pandemic and influence positive behaviors towards the same rather than being forced.

Community policing has been the RNP approach to educate and empower the people to be first responders to security in their neighborhoods.

On a bigger note, we commend the high level of responsiveness. The added days are for your safety; the safety of everyone.

Support national efforts against the pandemic. Stay at home, stay safe, report those who violate the directives putting other lives at risk and impeding national efforts against the deadly virus.

Call 112. WhatsApp: 0788-311-155.
Protecting your life starts with you (in this case with the highest level of compliance).