At the end of December 2021 or early January next year, Rwanda will open all aspects of the country that have been closed since March last year.
At the moment, bars, entertainment joints and concerts have remained the only sectors of the country which have not opened at all since closure when the first case of the COVID-19 virus was reported. Others have been opened partially.
Health Minister Dr Daniel Ngamije said Sunday that within the next six months, at least 60% of the population or 7.8m Rwandans will have been vaccinated.
“Just as it has happened in some other countries which have vaccinated 60 percent of population, we will also start to live normal lives like we used to before the pandemic,” said Dr Ngamije.
He was speaking at a post-cabinet press conference to update the country on the latest measures adopted by government. Not much has changed from the measures which have been around for months.
The health minister said: “We urge Rwandans to be patient and continue adhering to the the existing measures like wearing masks at all times. Within six months they will go back to normal lives.”
When cabinet sat on Saturday, social media commentary had expected new tough measures such a lockdown of some parts of the country. It didn’t happen.
Since this past week started, the country has been experiencing a new wave of the virus.
On Saturday alone, 284 cases were recorded. Before, daily cases had gone down to as low as 20.
Government has explained that the new wave emerged following the increase in the sample of people from DR Congo who were tested.
Last month, there was a volcanic eruption near the major town of Goma. It was followed by earthquakes and aftershocks that reached Rwanda for days.
The Congolese government has evacuated more than 500,000 people from the city. Thousands of them have come to Rwanda, including Rwandans returning home.
Government also says the new COVID wave is being caused by complacency among the population, some of whom are doing some activities that have been barred.