Rwanda: Why Inter-Provincial Movements, Taxi-Moto Restrictions Remained

The Ministry of Health says that the postponement of resuming inter-provincial movements and passenger taxi-moto services was triggered by five new Covid-19 cases confirmed in Rusizi district, Western Province on Sunday, May 31.

The five cases were part of 11 new Covid-19 cases that were reported on the same day.

The announcement informing the postponement effectively changed a previous government decision to set June 1 as the day these restrictions that have been in place since March 21 would be removed.

Explaining the change in an interview on Radio Rwanda on Monday, June 1, Minister of Health Dr Daniel Ngamije said that the change resulted from five new cases confirmed from residents of Rusizi district.

He said: "We did an assessment and found that the recent new Covid-19 cases include five citizens from Rusizi district. Therefore we decided to remain with these restrictions to avoid further spread of this pandemic in other provinces."

According to Ngamije, these five new Covid-19 cases include traders, truck-drivers and a motorcyclist who transported goods.

The Minister also noted that "We have got details of their contacts and we are tracing them to see whether none of them might have contracted the virus."

Rusizi is known for being a business district since it borders Democratic Republic of Congo and its busy city Bukavu.

So far, according to the Ministry of Health, Rusizi is the only district where community cases were confirmed recently. All other current active cases are returning residents, and cross-border drivers and traders.

It is expected that June 2 will see issuance of new Covid-19 directives after a cabinet meeting that will assess the state of this pandemic in the country.

Rwanda so far has 370 confirmed cases, of whom 256 have been discharged from treatment centres after recovery. The country also recorded the first death of this pandemic on May 30.

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