Rwanda: COVID-19 - Government Issues Fresh Instructions to Industries

The Ministry of Trade and Industry has issued fresh instructions to industries that are exempt from the countrywide lockdown as the country continues to fight the spreading of coronavirus.

According to the ministry, the only industries that should remain in operation are those working in areas of agro-processing, medical and pharmaceutical products, beverages.

Others allowed to operate are those that produce raw materials for exempted industries, according to the trade ministry.

The other industries, the statement signed by Minister Soraya Hakuziyaremye, should adhere to the lockdown and suspend production for two weeks.

The minister said the decision is aimed at protecting the health and safety of industry workers, as well as consumers of the products produced by the industries.

Ministerial guidelines during this period of implementation of new strategies to fight covid-19 pic.twitter.com/ZirMLD9GOb

- Min of Trade |Rwanda (@RwandaTrade) March 24, 2020

However, those that will continue operating have been given strict guidelines to follow.

These include putting in place necessary measures to mitigate the spread of coronavirus, refraining from price hiking and reducing the number of workers on a particular shift.

In an interview with The New Times, Sam Kamugisha, The Director-General for Industry at the ministry, said that there is no need to claim a deficit at this time because of the suspension.

"It is not yet time to claim deficit to the country's economy. We still have time after these two weeks (probably), we are able to work better and catch up to fill the gaps emptied," he says.

The changes come in effect after the number of coronavirus cases is increasing in Rwanda.

By press time, the number of confirmed cases in Rwanda was 41.

The raging novel coronavirus that was first reported in the Chinese city of Wuhan in December last year has claimed over 22,000 lives and infected more than 480,000 people across 110 countries and territories by Monday.

Over 117,000 people have been able to recover from the virus and discharged. The World Health Organisation (WHO) classified the outbreak as a pandemic.

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