Rwanda extends lockdown on capital city for seven days

Streets in Kigali, Rwanda on April 04, 2020, Cyril Ndegeya/Getty Images
KIGALI, RWANDA – APRIL 04: Streets are seen empty due to the precautions taken against the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) in Kigali, Rwanda on April 04, 2020. (Photo by Cyril Ndegeya/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)

The Rwandan government on Tuesday extended nationwide measures against COVID-19 until Sunday, including a lockdown in the capital city Kigali, while a curfew with other restrictions was announced to replace the lockdown for the next two weeks starting Feb. 8.

“To further contain the spread of the pandemic, the cabinet extended existing measures countrywide including the current lockdown in the City of Kigali from February 3rd through 7th,” reads part of the statement released by the Prime Minister’s Office on Tuesday.

Starting from January 8, the cabinet resolved that among others curfew time is extended to 7:00 pm through 4:00 am from the previous 8:00 pm through 4:00 am.

According to the statement, public offices will remain closed, with employees requested to work from home except those who offer essential services. Meanwhile, private businesses will resume with essential staff at not more than 30 percent capacity.

“Businesses resuming operations must close by 5:00 pm”, the statement reads in part.

Also to remain closed are all schools both private and public in Kigali, while movement from Kigali to other districts remains prohibited.

Two weeks ago, Kigali City was put under a total lockdown in a bid to gain a handle on a spike in new COVID-19 infections.

At the time, health authorities reported that the country accounted for over 60 percent of confirmed cases since the start of the year.

While the capital continues as a leading hotspot Covid-19 new infections, numbers from the rest of the country have reportedly slowed down.

As of Tuesday, February 2, the country’s positive rate stood at 5.4 percent of the tests carried out so far while the recovery rate is 68.4 percent.