Rwanda: Covid-19 - Police Condemn 'Reckless' Celebrations After Amavubi CHAN Victory

27 January 2021

Rwanda National Police have come out to condemn actions by some citizens who defied the Covid-19 lockdown on Tuesday, January 26, as they celebrated the victory of the national football team Amavubi against Togo in the ongoing African Nations Championship (CHAN).

In an exciting game played on Tuesday night, Amavubi defeated West Africans Togo 3-2 to book a place in the quarter-finals of the competition, a development that saw a number of people storm the streets of Kigali celebrating, despite the ongoing "stay home" restrictions that were imposed on the city to control the surging numbers of new Covid-19 infections.

In a statement issued on the morning of Wednesday, January 27 via its Twitter handle, police recognized the team's victory as a pleasant feat, but said the celebrations by some citizens were reckless.

"Following a football match victory in favour of Amavubi last night, some residents in the City of Kigali celebrated the victory by ignoring the 'Stay at Home' orders and other Covid-19 preventive measures. This kind of reckless behavior during a pandemic is unacceptable," the statement read in part.

"We are all proud of the victory of our national team but we cannot afford to be reckless in these times of Covid-19. Sure nobody wants this to be his or her last celebration of Amavubi victory. Amavubi is expected to have more wins in the future of which each of us wish to celebrate alive and healthy," it continued.

Following a football match victory in favour of #Amavubi last night, some residents in @CityOfKigali celebrated the victory by ignoring #StayAtHome orders and other #COVIDー19 preventive measures. This kind of reckless behavior during a pandemic is unacceptable.

- Rwanda National Police (@Rwandapolice) January 27, 2021

Since January 18, the cabinet imposed a 15-day lockdown on the City of Kigali and tough restrictions on the rest of the country in a bid to fight an emerging spike in Covid-19 infections.

It has now been more than a week since the measures were put in place but the surge in cases seems to be untamed so far as a high number of cases continue to be registered especially in Kigali.

On Tuesday, January 26, Rwanda recorded 574 new cases of Covid-19, by far the highest number the country has ever registered in a single day. Out of these, 440 were registered in Kigali.

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