Rwanda: Cabinet - Thorough Assessment to Determine When, How Schools Will Reopen

Schools shall remain closed to allow time for a thorough health assessment which will determine when and how they shall reopen.

This is one of the resolutions that were passed by a cabinet meeting that was held Friday, August 14 in Kigali.

"Schools will remain closed to allow sufficient time for a further health assessment and thorough preparedness for resumption of in-person classes," reads part of a statement from the Prime Minister's Office.

The statement added that: "Remote learning continues to be encouraged and should be strengthened."

A day after Rwanda reported her first Covid-19 case in mid-March, schools were among halted activities, in bid to contain the pandemic in the country.

At the time, the government said that schools can't reopen before the month of September.

On this note, last month, while addressing the parliament on the government's efforts to contain Covid-19, Prime Minister Edouard Ngirente reiterated that the precise time to reopen schools was still uncertain, adding that any decision in this regard will be based on a health assessment.

So far, nursery, primary and secondary school students follow their lessons remotely via radios and televisions, thanks to Rwanda Education Board.

Many universities have also adopted online learning.

Only 50 percent of staff should work from the office

The cabinet meeting also encouraged continued remote working where possible, stipulating that only half of the staff of a given establishment should work from their respective offices.

"Public and private businesses will continue not exceeding 50% of existing staff while other employees continue working from home on a rotational basis," reads part of the meeting's minutes.

The cabinet also urged event organizers including conferences and meetings to comply with Covid-19 preventive measures, adding that detailed guidelines in this regard will be shared by the Rwanda Development Board.

Curfew remains

Among directives to remain in force include the curfew, whereby movements will remain prohibited from 9 p.m to 5 a.m.

Also, movements between Rusizi District and other districts are still restricted.

However, movement of goods and people within Rusizi shall continue.

Bars and gaming activities also remain closed.

Other measures the cabinet announced is the continued mass-testing for the virus and sensitising the population to use facemasks.

Covid-19 update

Meanwhile, on Friday August 14, Rwanda recorded 93 new Covid-19 cases and 46 recoveries.

According to the Ministry of Health, of the new cases, 80 were confirmed in Kigali.

Also, 13 Covid-19 cases were detected in Rusizi district among high risk groups of this district, as well as in villages under lockdown.

The results were obtained from 4,610 sample tests conducted in the last 24 hours.

In total, Rwanda carried out 323,905 sample tests of Covid-19 since mid-March.

The country has recorded 2,293 confirmed cases of this pandemic, of whom 1,604 have already recovered.

Rwanda's Covid-19 death toll stands at 8 people so far.

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