Rwanda: Govt Extends Lockdown for Five Days as Covid-19 Cases Subside

Kigali City (file photo).

In order to consolidate the gains made over the past few days in reducing Covid-19 cases, the government has resolved that current measures, including a total lockdown in Kigali and some eight districts in the country, will be extended for five more days until July 31.

This is according to a statement released by the Prime Minister's office Sunday, July 25.

The statement signed by Prime Minister Edouard Ngirente maintained that the lockdown, which was supposed to last until July 26, will be extended as part of the efforts to reduce social interactions and limit movements to only essential services.

"The government of Rwanda thanks the public for continued collaboration in observing Covid-19 preventive measures. In order to consolidate the gains in decreasing the number of cases and deaths, the government has extended the current preventive measures for five more days," reads part of the statement.

Besides the three districts that make up Kigali; Gasabo, Nyarugenge and Kicukiro, the other districts in lockdown are Burera, Gicumbi, Kamonyi, Musanze, Nyagatare, Rubavu, Rwamagana and Rutsiro.

Under the measures, businesses including distribution and delivery services, marketplaces, retail stores vending food items and pharmacies, will continue to operate at 30 percent of the respective capacity.

Some manufacturing industries were also allowed to remain open especially those engaged in agricultural value addition.

All operating businesses in areas under lockdown will strictly close at 5:00 pm, the statement highlighted.

Also to operate under strict health guidelines are farming and tourism activities.

Like it has been, however, schools and higher learning institutions will maintain fully online classes.

According to the statement, the ministry of education will communicate provisions for the ongoing national examinations and how candidates will return home after completing their exams.

In the remaining parts of the country, the cabinet resolved to maintain current preventive measures.

In addition, the statement noted that citizens are reminded to comply with the standard health measures including physical distancing, wearing masks as well as regular wash of hands.

On the other hand, the public was commended for, among others, stemming the tide of erupting Covid-19 cases in the country.

Positivity rate on decrease

The country's positivity rate now stands at 4.4 percent, down from a staggering 8.4 percent, when the measures were first announced on July 15.

Health authorities have previously attributed the drop in increased testing, citing that it is crucial to understanding the spread of the pandemic and responding appropriately.

According to the latest criteria published by the World Health Organisation in May this year, a positive rate of less than five percent is one of the many indicators that the epidemic is under control in a country.

Consequently, the government says it is banking on its countrywide vaccination program, with a goal to vaccinate at least 60 percent of its population by next year.

Yesterday, Rwanda received nine tons of medical kits alongside Covid-19 doses from the United Arab Emirates government, a consignment that is set to intensify the ongoing inoculation drive.

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