KIGALI, 8 February 2021 – The two-week lockdown instituted to stem the spread of COVID-19 in the Rwandese capital, Kigali, was lifted Monday morning.
Streets of the capital were bustling with life, with public buses, taxis and motorcycle taxis back out, humming up and down the gentle slopes of the city.
Shops, banks and markets opened as well, with shoppers and business owners saying how delighted they were to be back at work.
“It was tough staying home everyday for two weeks, but if this is what we must do to prevent unnecessary loss of life, then it is a sacrifice we stand ready to make again, and again, if required,” said one investor in Kigali, speaking to Africa Freedom Network via phone Monday morning.
“We delayed the official opening of our shop in downtown Kigali, but took full advantage of the lockdown to build our online presence on Facebook and on Twitter where our handle is @iGlobalKigali,” said one of the promoters of the global group, iGlobalMart.
Putting Final Touches to Official Opening – Photo iGlobalMart
The first shop of the group in Africa will open in the Kibagabaga neighborhood of Kigali in another few weeks, initially offering high-end “Made in America” goods, but with an eye to expand into “in-shop” healthcare services.
All schools remain closed across the city of Kigali.
Rwandan authorities are maintaining the shutdown of bars, churches, entertainment enters and call public gatherings of more than fifty people.
A dusk-to-dawn curfew will remain in effect.
Rwandan public health officials showcased the drop in COVID-19 cases during the lockdown to justify the payoff.
New cases of COVID-19 dropped during the fortnight of lockdown in Kigali as well as across the country from an average 365 per day to an average 150 per day nationwide.
Fatalities also dropped from between nine-to-ten people killed a day on average, to between two-to-three people killed per day from complications brought about by the virus, according to a statement from Dr. Tharcisse Mpunga published Monday by the state-run broadcaster.
Rwanda has recorded a total of 16,451 cases of the new coronavirus leading to 220 fatalities and 12,342 full recoveries, according to data updated Monday by Johns Hopkins University.
President Paul Kagame on Sunday said the country expects to receive its first doses of COVID-19 vaccines by the end of February.