Africa-Press – Rwanda. Rwanda this week rolled out fresh drives for first and second Covid-19 dose vaccinations as the country continues to make steady progress in the fight against the pandemic and gradually edging closer to a return to some semblance of normality.
Recent months have seen a resurgence of hope with more people receiving jabs as more vaccines arrive, albeit in limited quantities. Figures show that nearly one million Rwandans have so far been fully inoculated, while those who have been partially vaccinated are closing in on the two-million mark.
Meanwhile, the government has gradually been easing Covid restrictions, even allowing for the phased resumption of concerts, exhibitions and festivals. Safe reopening of the creative industry and other sectors, especially in the City of Kigali, is particularly being facilitated by the fact that a large number of people have had at least one vaccination shot, while testing capacity has significantly been boosted in recent past.
However, while this is welcome news for businesses and the general public, it also poses a lot of risks, especially with vaccinated people potentially letting their guard down thanks to a false sense of security.
For instance, it has been noted that many people disregard Covid-19 protocols, including mandatory tests at large events such as weddings and other social events, which risks turning such events into super-spreaders.
Yet, from experience, whenever we’ve seemed to gain a handle on the virus and slowed infections we’ve at the same tended to throw caution to the wind only to end up paying a heavy price with the virus rapidly surging and hitting us with a vengeance.
Any slip-up in our attitude toward Covid and pandemic response strategy would indeed be so costly at this point in time when the economy badly needs steady progress toward full recovery.
The progress made in the national vaccination effort must not result in reckless behaviour and a misplaced sense of complacency as the virus is still around and indeed fatal. As evidence has shown, vaccinated people can still contract Covid (although they rarely suffer severe illness) and transmit it.
It’s, therefore, important that we all continue to observe all of the Covid guidelines and standard operating procedures, including properly wearing face masks, observing physical distancing, washing or sanitising hands regularly, avoiding or limiting our time indoors, testing regularly, among others.