COVID-19: Rwanda imposes countrywide lockdown, suspends ‘unnecessary movements’

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Prime Minister Edouard Ngirente
By :
Baluku Geoffrey

Kigali – Rwanda has suspended all “unnecessary movements” outside the home and clamped down on travel across its borders, in one of the toughest measures imposed to curb the spread of the coronavirus.

“Unnecessary movements and visits outside the home are not permitted,” the Rwandan Prime Minister, Dr. Ngirente Edouard announced in a statement late Saturday. This is in addition to all commercial flights to the country that had already been suspended, and all bars closed.

He [Dr. Ngirente] noted that with experiences from other countries, there is a clear need to take additional steps to ensure COVID-19 does not spread further in Rwanda.

Accordingly, he said that all borders are closed except for the passage of goods and cargo as well as essential services such as healthcare, food, or banking.

Also closed are shops and markets except for those selling food, medicine (pharmacies), hygiene and cleaning products, fuel and other essential items.

Dr Ngirente urged Rwandans to make use of electronic payments and online banking services whenever possible rather than visiting banks or ATMs.

Africa Tembelea has learnt that the new measures that started at 23:59 on Saturday, 21 March 2020, will be in force for an initial period of two weeks.

Related
Coronavirus: Rwanda confirms new cases of COVID-19, total 17

Just like Uganda, anyone arriving in Rwanda is now subject to 14-day quarantine at designated locations.

With Rwanda having recorded 17 confirmed coronavirus cases as of Saturday, Dr. Ngirente has called for heightened vigilance, discipline, and cooperation if the country was to reign in this virus.

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