Rwandan police arrest 1,400 people for violating COVID-19 curfew

A pedestrian crosses a road in downtown Kigali, Rwanda, on March 22, 2020. Rwanda has announced stricter measures to be implemented for the next two weeks in a bid to contain the spread of coronavirus,PHOTO/East African
FILE PHOTO: A pedestrian crosses a road in downtown Kigali, Rwanda. PHOTO/The East African

A total of 1,400 people have been arrested in Rwanda’s capital city of Kigali for violating a curfew aimed at curbing the spread of COVID-19, the police said on Wednesday.

On Monday, the country imposed a curfew, preventing people from going out from 8 p.m. to 5 a.m. local time.

The people arrested, including motorists and pedestrians, were still outside during the curfew, police spokesperson John Bosco Kabera said in an interview with Rwanda Television.

The arrested people were taken to different sports stadiums in the city for questioning, and those with reasonable reasons like coming from hospitals or attending emergencies would be free, while others with invalid excuses would be fined or given warnings, he said.

Kabera warned the public against breaching the restrictions imposed by the government to fight the pandemic.

The Rwandan health ministry on Wednesday evening said the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases reached 268, while the number of recoveries rose to 130.