Rwanda National Police (RNP) has called upon residents of Rwanda to fear the pandemic of the COVID-19 and abide by all measures meant to prevent its spread, instead of fearing the police thus exposing themselves to the deadly virus.
"Police will arrest or penalise you but COVID-19 will put your life at risk and probably kill you. Adhering to all covid-19 prevention measures is the only cure we currently have," CP Kabera observed.
He was speaking on Sunday during a talk-show, which was live on Isango TV and on ten different local radio stations discussing on the current status and enforcement measures to prevent the spread of the COVID-19.
CP Kabera observed that people have become complacent to health and safety guidelines, a dangerous thing in containing the pandemic.
"The number of violators is still high and so is the number of infections. In the past one month alone, we have seen many COVID-19 related fatalities compared to previous ten months. COVID-19 infections and those in need of intensive medical care have also increased by almost four folds in the past one month," he said.
He added: "The level of complacency is also defined by the number of people caught defying prevention measures. This week alone, 23, 647 people were caught across the country without facemasks and disregarding physical distancing while 162 vehicles, 177 motos and 40 bicycles were impounded in the same period for violating the curfew."
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Following the new government directives, which among others, prohibited movements beyond City of Kigali as well as beyond districts, CP Kabera emphasized that all residents of Rwanda are required to stay where they are unless one has an emergency issue that requires emergency response.
The movement clearance for an emergency can be applied and issued electronically through the website; www.mc.gov.rw or by dialling *127# on your handset across all networks and follow the prompts.
He further expressed concerns of positive cases placed under home-based care and those in quarantine, who break the rules to leave their homes to go in public places like markets, work places as well as people, who visit individuals that are still in quarantine or under home-based care.
"It is like such people want to be followed up while in detention," he wondered, warning that whoever breaks home-based care and quarantine rules will be treated as someone who intentionally exposed other people to danger, which will call for subsequent actions including paying all medical bills and face prosecution.
"One of the things that continue to fuel the spread of COVID-19 is the thinking and trusting workmates, friends and family members.
This is where you find people still hagging, shaking hands, visiting each other, organising and inviting others in prohibited social events and not wearing face mask or observing physical distancing when together," CP Kabera said.
"Your safety from COVID-19 infection lies with you as an individual by exercising maximum compliance with the health guidelines and other national directives. In this delicate period, you should treat the other person as someone, who can infect you."
He warned of fines and likely closure of restaurants, shops and shopping malls that violate the guidelines such as social distancing, washing or sanitizing hands, face mask as well as operating beyond 6pm.
The spokesperson further urged the general public to plan their movements to avoid last hour activities leading to movements within prohibited hours.
COVID-19: Number of violators down by over 50 percent
He added that the Police will continue to work with other partners including local authorities, Dasso and youth volunteers in awareness and enforcement of the COVID-19 prevention measures and penalising violators.
Dr. Theophile Dushime from the Ministry of Health said that more than 2000 people who tested positive for COVID-19 are currently under home-based care while over 250 others are under intensive care at five other COVID-19 medical centres.
He added that violations are affecting national efforts leading to increased in positive cases and related deaths
As of January 9, Rwanda had registered 9, 461 positive cases, 6956 recoveries and 118 fatalities.