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Rwanda has announced the re-containment of the capital Kigali, as well as eight other districts in the country, from Saturday until July 26, to stem the explosion of Covid-19 cases recorded in recent weeks.
“Citizens are invited to considerably reduce social interactions and limit travel to only essential services”, the Rwandan government announced in a statement released Wednesday evening, July 14. “Movements and visits outside the home are prohibited, except for essential services such as health, the purchase of food, banks”, details the text.
Public transport of people is also stopped, the offices of companies and administrations closed, schools closed, outdoor sports and recreational activities prohibited and the number of people attending funerals capped at fifteen.
Arrivals and departures at Kigali airport are however maintained, as well as tourist activities, in compliance with the health protocols in force. The curfew decreed from 6 p.m. to 4 a.m. (4 p.m. to 2 a.m. GMT) remains in effect throughout the country, where businesses must close at 5 p.m.
Rwanda had initially succeeded in containing the pandemic, imposing from March 2020 one of the first strict confinements on the African continent, as well as extensive campaigns for the detection and tracing of contact cases. Kigali had already been placed in total containment in January for a period of two weeks.
In recent weeks, Rwanda has faced a sharp rebound in the pandemic, with around 800 new cases a day overwhelming hospitals, which have found themselves in bed shortages. The country of 13 million people has recorded a total of nearly 51,000 cases of Covid-19, including 607 fatalities.
As in many African countries, the vaccination campaign was slow due to insufficient supplies and the reluctance of the population. Authorities had planned to vaccinate 30% of the population this year and 60% by the end of 2022. As of July 14, only 401,160 people have been vaccinated, or just over 3% of the population.