Rwanda Imposes Partial Lockdown in Southern Districts

The statue depicting the valour and heroism that was manifested during 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi by RPA (now RDF) soldiers (file photo).

Rwanda has put six sectors in Huye, Gisagara, and Nyaruguru districts in the Southern province under a three-week lockdown to curb rising Covid-19 infections.

The lockdown is effective Wednesday, a day when Rwanda starts commemorating the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi for 100 days.

All public gatherings, including Walk to Remember and night vigils that used to attract thousands of people have been cancelled due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

The lockdown affects sectors including Ruhashya and Rwaniro in Huye district, Gikonko, Kansi and Mamba in Gisagara, and Ruramba in Nyaruguru district.

The lockdown only allows essential services to remain in operation; halts all business and ongoing construction projects including the Hakan Peat Plant being constructed in Gisagara, one of the biggest peat plants in Africa.

Only 50 percent of workers are allowed to show up at their workplaces.

Huye and Gisagara districts currently have the biggest number of infections countrywide with over 35 Covid-19 cases recorded daily as opposed to less than 10 cases recorded in Kigali city a day.

Various Covid-19 precautionary measures are still in place in the whole of Rwanda, including a curfew that runs from 9pm to 5am, limiting the number of people in public and social gatherings, among others.

Districts' Command Post teams in charge of Covid-19 infections control and security organs are in charge of maintaining order during the lockdown.

As of April 6, Rwanda has recorded 22,862 infections with 4 patients in critical condition. The positivity rate stands at 2.3 percent and 314 people have succumbed to the virus.

Last week, the Ministry of Health rolled out the second dose Covid-19 vaccination campaign for people who received the Pfizer vaccine.

The activity is still ongoing. The first countrywide vaccination was rolled out in March with 348,926 people receiving the Pfizer and AstraZeneca vaccines.

The government acquired the part of the administered vaccines from the Covax Facility, a global initiative aimed at equitable access to Covid-19 vaccines, and some 50,000 as a donation from India.

More doses are expected to be acquired to complete the number of doses required for the vaccines to work effectively.

It remains unclear when the next batch of doses will arrive. Rwanda plans to vaccinate 60 percent of its 12 million population by June 2022.

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