Recently, the Rwanda Biomedical Center (RBC)’s report revealed that youth with age category ranging from 15 to 34 years old make a big number of total confirmed covid-19 cases at 59.46 percent while other parts of infected persons include 28.38 percent of age categories (35-49) and 7.43% (50+years) and only 4.73% are under 15 years.
The question is why such a big number of confirmed cases involves youth other than elderly people who were said to be pre- disposed to being infected? Many reasons justify why the number of covid-19 infected youth cases is on high according to various point of views.
No respect of preventive measures
Speaking to various youth categories, The Express News has learnt that youth still ignore the set prevention measures especially social distancing concept, as they break such guidelines and stay enjoying their social lives such as walking hand to hand touching and sharing drinks in a mass.
A young girl identified as Fiette Ingabire from Kanombe Sector in Kicukiro District said :
“We, the youth have not yet understood why we should prevent ourselves and prevent others from being infected, we do not observe this pandemic as serious as killer and a severe challenge that is hitting the world. We only remember its seriousness when it attacks ourselves or our relatives,” Ingabire noted.
Samuel Hakuzimana, Executive Director of Citizen’s Voice and Action (CVA)
Samuel Hakuzimana, Executive Director of Citizen Voice and Actions (CVA), shares his views:
“Youth have not yet understood the concept of social distancing as they still need to join their friends in a mass. Furthermore, to clarify on why they were found infected in a big number, youth constitutes a big number of the overall population of Rwanda. What should be a solution is that they should make a first step in implementing the covid-19 prevention measures in place and especially mobilize their colleagues to avoid joining groups,” says Hakuzimana.
Little dynamic awareness on COVID-19 among youth
Evariste Murwanashyaka, the Programs Manager and Child Rights Focal Person at CLADHO says “What I can say is that there is no surprise to find many youth infected as per three parameters: They are scattered everywhere they want as they were told that covid-19 does not affect youth, instead elderly people, I used to see boys and girls touching hand in hand outsides as if they did not care about social distancing, going to markets and elsewhere, they do not care about face masks, so these parameters can increase the big number of infected youths,”
Evariste Murwanashyaka, the Programs Manager and Child Rights Focal Person at CLADHO
This attitude shows that young people ignore the severity of the disease according to Evariste.
Youth to be sensitized on COVID-19 via social media
Murwanashyaka proposes that youth should be sensitized further and be the first ones to sensitize others on prevention measures including the respect of social distancing and use of face masks.
“They need be sensitized and take the lead in helping others to abide with prevention measures. Recent cases involved youth who were caught in pubs drinking beer; otherwise they should have taken responsibilities to sensitize others to prevent Covid-19 by using social media platforms.” He noted
Key facts about #COVIDー19 in Rwanda (source RBC )
In a press video conference with Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, World Health Organization (WHO) Director General said that “eventhough elderly people are the most attacked by covid-19, this does not mean that youth can’t be attacked too,”
He added “I have a message for young people: you are not covid-19 free, this virus can make you hospitalised and spend a couple of weeks there; or it can kill you.”
“And when you escape the outbreak, your choice of walking destinations can cause death to another person,” he added.
The Express News