KIGALI | Rwanda has extended the duration of its nighttime curfew and banned travel to and out of the western region of Rusizi to deal with the recent rise in the number of cases of the new coronavirus.
Rwanda was one of the first African countries to impose strict containment on March 22, before partially lifting these measures on May 1 when it had yet officially listed only 225 cases and no deaths.
But on Tuesday, Rwanda recorded 217 new cases, its daily record for contamination. And a third of its total cases (3,625, including 15 deaths) has been recorded in the past ten days, the authorities blaming the increase on growing non-compliance with social distancing rules.
After a cabinet meeting chaired by the head of state, Paul Kagame, the government announced Wednesday evening that the duration of the curfew would be extended from 9 p.m. to 5 a.m. to 7 p.m. to 5 a.m.
“Due to the increase in the number of coronavirus cases in Kigali, public transport between Kigali and other regions has also been banned,” the government said in a statement.
All travel to and from Rusizi, where numerous cases have recently been recorded, have also been banned.
Nationally, schools, which were slated to reopen in September, will remain closed for now.
The other measures currently in place, such as the closing of bars, the compulsory wearing of masks in public, the limitation of the number of employees working at the same time in the offices and the ban on public gatherings, are maintained.
The country has reopened its international flights to tourists, who must present a certificate proving that they are not contaminated. But the land borders are still closed to foreigners.
Neighboring Uganda, which also put in place strict containment in March when it only had a few cases, has also recently seen an increase in contamination.