Coronavirus: Kigali placed under total lockdown

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Rwanda President Paul Kagame; Online Photo

Under the latest guidelines authorities in Rwanda have announced travel restrictions in and out of the capital Kigali as a measure to control the surging cases of coronavirus.

In the communique issued by cabinet on Monday, citizens are urged to significantly reduce social interactions and limit movements to only essential services.

Local Government minister, Prof. Shyaka Anastase, said people with special cases have been given a full day to ensure that they observe the new guideline following concerns from the public that people were previously not given time to prepare for the new measures.

Unnecessary movement of people including visits outside the home are prohibited except for essential services like medical, food shopping, banking among others.

With the exception of Kigali, which is under a lockdown, curfew hours in other parts of the country have been extended to between 6 PM and 4 AM. Previously, curfew hours have been between 8 PM to 4 AM.

Both public and private transport are prohibited in Kigali but the rest of the country will be allowed to use the facilities. As it has been, the Rwanda National Police will be in charge of issuing movement permits in and out of Kigali. However, transportation of food and essential goods will continue to function.

In addition, motorcycles (motos) and taxis are allowed to deliver essential goods but not be permitted to carry passengers.

Information from the Rwanda Biomedical Centre indicates that Kigali accounts for 61 per cent of Covid-19 cases reported in the country since January 1 this year.

Farming will however continue for the ongoing agricultural season.

Besides farming, Minister Shyaka pointed out that the government will release a full list of essential services that will be allowed to operate.

Elsewhere, schools outside Kigali will continue to function, inter-provincial travel prohibited as it has been in the past two weeks. Citizens will be allowed to move only in their respective districts as part of the efforts to contain the spread of the virus.

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