Covid 19: a family needs RWF 36,000 a month to comply with government instructions of mask
Covid 19: a family needs RWF 36,000 a month to comply with government instructions of mask wearing
Nyirabariyanga clementine aged 50 a residence of Marantima village, Rwebera cell, Cyuve sector in Musanze district lost her husband in 2018 march. She is a mother of eleven boys. Following the total lockdown in the country that started on 21st march 2020 she have been struggling to find food for her family
Sharing her experience, Nyirabariyanga went down memory lane on how she have survived through the lockdown. “I remember in one evening here, my son came and told me that tomorrow we are not allowed to move and work” Nyirabariyanga recalls, “I thought he was lying” she added.
In the morning when she went to the building site, she found that what she was told was true and the country had started a lockdown. “I help builder on building sites, so when I went there the next day, I found no one there and I was told the no more working until further notice” said.
According to Nyirabariyanga, life has been a struggle through this lockdown “Sometimes I get out of home no because, I am not willing to cooperate with the government rules or not because of the fear of my life but just because I fear hunger than even death” she narrates.
Nyirabariyanga did not benefit from the government program to help the vulnerable throughout this covid 19 pandemic lockdown. “We registered but we did not get any assistance throughout all this period,” she said
Nyirabariyanga Clemantine and some of his boys at her home
“Here we eat once a day, but our lowest point in the mid of this pandemic was failing to get food for my family for three days, I closed my room and cried, I felt guilty of what was happening to my boys.” Nyirabariyanga said.
The government of Rwanda through the ministry of health on April 18 introduced a supplementary COVID19 precautionary directive that argues citizens to wear facemasks when at home and going out for essential services or activities.
The minister of health Dr Daniel Ngamije while in an interview on the public broadcaster announced this. “In addition to other COVID-19 precautionary measures, we urge citizens to wear face masks when going for essential activities and when at home because they have proved to be effective in preventing this virus worldwide.” He said.
Previously the ministry of health had called on citizens to leave face masks for Covid 19 patients as well as health practitioners that were directly interacting with the patients.
The minister also while on the public broadcaster added on that Beginning with Monday (April 20), local factories were to start manufacturing the masks and selling them at an affordable price.
Here the question comes as what is the affordable price? According to an official from one of the local companies that were authorized by the food and drug authority (FDA – Rwanda) to turn their facilities into production of personal protective equipment, who preferred to stay anonymous, the cheapest mask will go up to Rwf 500 ($0.52).
According the minister of health while on the public broadcaster, these masks can be washed and re-used for five times, which definitely means that they can be used for five days.
Nyirabariyanga is worried that she may fail to comply with the government instruction. “I will not manage, I can’t manage to raise Rwf500 ($0.54) for myself and each of my boy here every five days” she said
In simple mathematics, Nyirabariyanga needs to raise Rwf 36,000 ($37.79) a month for masks only.
In a local television interview, when a journalist posed a question of financial threat in complying with wearing mask instruction among the community following the lockdown now for a month to the state minister in charge of social affairs in the ministry of Local government Ignatienne Nyirarukundo, she answered “Nayabura azashyireho umupira we” meaning that those who fail to buy masks can use their sweaters. she however continued narrating that she believes no Rwandan can fail to buy a mask.
“So longer as he/she protects her self, Rwandans will find solutions, for me i trust them” Nyirarukundo said, she added on that that is not an issue to be discussed on national lever
According to Dr. Howard Forman, a professor of management, public health, economics and radiology at Yale University and Yale school of medicine, Minister Nyirarukund’s advice cannot stop anyone to be infected. “That cannot prevent you from getting the virus, it can help maybe other people from not getting the virus from you,” he said at Make it.
According to Nyirabariyanga even in the normal situation she cannot manage to buy the masks for her and her family and requests the government for support
Meanwhile, Rwanda on Tuesday 21st confirmed three new covid 19 cases making a cumulative number of confirmed cases to 150, with eighty-four recoveries and sixty-six active cases.