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Rwanda’s capital back to lockdown due to surge in COVID-19 cases

Passengers wait to take buses to return home outside Kigali, Rwanda, on Jan. 19, 2021. Rwandan cabinet on Monday brought the capital city of Kigali back to a lockdown due to a surge in COVID-19 cases. The lockdown, which became effective immediately and will be reviewed after 15 days, prohibits unnecessary movements in the city. (Photo by Cyril Ndegeya/Xinhua).

KIGALI, Jan. 19 (Xinhua) — Rwandan cabinet on Monday brought the capital city of Kigali back to a lockdown due to a surge in COVID-19 cases.

The lockdown, which became effective immediately and will be reviewed after 15 days, prohibits unnecessary movements in the city.

A cabinet communique released after a virtual meeting recognized a recent “unprecedented rise in cases, deaths and transmission rates in the community,” and called on Rwandans to raise vigilance in observing health guidelines in order to slow the spread of the virus.

The cabinet also urged Kigali citizens to significantly reduce social interactions and limit movements only to essential activities.

Travels between Kigali and other places are banned, and public transport in the city is suspended.

The lockdown measures also include the closure of businesses and working from home.

However, essential services are excluded from the restriction. Tourists are permitted to leave the capital city and tourism activities will continue in strict adherence with COVID-19 health guidelines, said the communique.

The cabinet also allowed farming for the current agricultural season and funeral gatherings with no more than 15 persons.

The country’s aviation hub Kigali International Airport will remain open, according to the communique.

The central African nation on Monday reported 227 new cases in the past 24 hours, including 139 in Kigali.

The rise took the national tally to 11,259, with 7,412 recoveries and 146 deaths.

see also Rwanda car hire

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