Rwanda: Govt Tightens Covid-19 Restrictions in Five Border Districts

Effective from Thursday, June 17, movements to and from Rubavu District in the Western Province are banned, according to new Covid-19 restrictions announced on Wednesday, June 16.

While the movement of cargo trucks into Rubavu and goods across the border is allowed, curfew hours in the district were extended by two hours, from 7pm to 4am.

The 7 pm curfew will affect Rubavu and Rutsiro districts in the Western Province and some sectors of Burera and Gicumbi in the Northern Province, as well as parts of Nyagatare in the Eastern Province.

The Ministry of Local Government said the restrictions were imposed to control the spread of Covid-19 following a recent surge in new cases.

Rubavu and Rutsiro are located on the border of Rwanda and DR Congo, while Burera, Gicumbi and Nyagatare touch Uganda.

In the last three days, the five districts have recorded a combined 189 cases out of total 757 new cases reported countrywide.

Rubavu and Rutsiro are some of the leading districts with new cases, worsened by the movements of people in the aftermath of the eruption of Nyiragongo in eastern DR Congo three weeks ago.

"Following the volcanic eruption, there were movements of people who crossed the border into Rubavu and Rutsiro and those who were internally displaced," Jean-Marie Vianney Gatabazi, the Minister of Local Government, said on Wednesday.

He added that the situation in Burera, Gicumbi and Nyagatare had been affected by movements from Uganda, which has seen a spike in new coronavirus infections.

"In recent days, there have been people coming from across the border who tested positive for the Covid-19 virus. So, we want to minimize the movements in order to observe the preventive measures put in place."

The new restrictions will be revised after two weeks.

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