Rwanda extends nationwide lockdown for two weeks

A pedestrian crosses a road in downtown Kigali, Rwanda, on March 22, 2020.PHOTO/East African
President Kagame, Prime Minister Edouard Ngirente (right) and Foreign Affairs minister Dr Vincent Biruta (background) at Village Urugwiro in the capital Kigali during the virtual cabinet meeting on Wednesday.PHOTO/NewTimes Rwanda

Rwanda on Wednesday extended its lockdown to April 19 as part of efforts to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus.

Through a statement, Prime Minister Edouard Ngirente said that “Unnecessary movement and visits outside the home are not permitted except for essential services such as healthcare, food shopping or banking and for personnel performing such services,”

It further adds that places of worship will remain closed as well as both public and private schools and higher education institutions.

The Ministry of Health on Wednesday announced  that the number of confirmed cases had risen to 82 after seven more people were diagnosed with the disease.

Rwanda had originally announced an initial two-week lockdown on March 21 which was set to expire in a few days.

“The measures we take now will determine how fast we take to overcome this pandemic in order to return to normal lives,” President Paul Kagame said earlier last week in a televised address.

According to the communique,Kagame also acknowledged the efforts made in observing the preventive measures to slow the spread of the virus.

Meanwhile In the East African Community bloc,Kenya now has 81 cases, Uganda 44, Tanzania 19 and Burundi two, while South Sudan has none.