Rwanda: Govt Extends Lockdown Until April 30

Lockdown (file photo).

A cabinet meeting has resolved that the ongoing lockdown to contain COVID-19 in the country be extended for another 11 days, meaning it will now end on April 30.

As part of the measures to stop the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic, the country has been on lockdown since March 21.

This is the second time that the government has extended the lockdown period.

The first two-week lockdown ran from March 21 and was meant to expire mid April, but was later extended for more 15 days until April 19.

According to a communique from the Prime Minister's Office Friday night, the decision to extend the lockdown was taken during an extraordinary cabinet meeting chaired by President Kagame which was held via video conference on Friday.

"To further contain the outbreak, Cabinet extended the existing measures until April 30th 2020," it read.

Under the lockdown, people are obliged not to make unnecessary movements outside of their homes.

Businesses across the country are also closed except for those dealing in essential commodities like fuel, food items and medicine.

Services like banks and telecommunication companies are also considered essential and remain in operation.

Other measures prescribed by the lockdown include temporary ban on non-essential travel between different cities and districts across the country, suspension of mass gatherings like church services and schools while all employees in the public and private sector also are ordered to work from home, apart from those providing essential services.

Public transport is also not operational, save for taxi cabs which are allowed to carry people dealing in the provision of essential services.

"Motos (taxi) are not permitted to carry passengers but may offer delivery services," reads part of the Prime Minister's communique.

Rwanda's borders are also closed except for goods and cargo as well as returning citizens and legal residents who will be subject to a mandatory 14-day quarantine at designated locations.

According to the communique, President Kagame also thanked Rwandans for the continued solidarity and for observing measures in place to slow the spread of COVID-19.

"The President commended all partners for continued support and commended the global and African solidarity in fighting the COVID - 19 pandemic," it read.

Meanwhile, on Friday, Rwanda registered five new COVID-19 cases taking the total of confirmed cases to 143, according to a status report from the Ministry of Health.

The ministry also announced that within 24 hours, there had been five new recoveries that brought the number of patients discharged from designated treatment facilities to 65.

No death has been registered since the first case was confirmed in the country over a month ago.

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