Rwanda extends curfew, adjusts measures over COVID surge

Following a spike in Covid-19 infections, Rwanda extended curfew hours and adopted other severe measures over the weekend.

In the last week, Rwanda has experienced an increase in coronavirus infections, with the positive rate climbing from 0.5 percent to 4.3 percent. Kigali was identified as the epicenter of the outbreak, accounting for more over half of the infections.

A cabinet meeting on June 12 decided, among other things, that businesses must close by 8 p.m. and residents must adhere to a 9 p.m. to 5 a.m. curfew. The previous curfew was in effect from 10 p.m. until 4 a.m.

Churches, offices, and public transportation will only be allowed to operate at 30% of their capacity, according to the cabinet. Weddings are limited to 30 guests, and all social events in private residences are prohibited.

The country had 28,145 infections and 26,341 recoveries as of June 12th. The virus has so far claimed the lives of 370 people.

RwandAir, Rwanda’s national carrier, halted flights to Uganda last week due to an outbreak of infections in the neighboring country.

Rwanda, like the rest of East Africa, is experiencing a rebound of infections, according to Dr. Nsanzimana. In Rwanda, infection hotspots have primarily been in densely populated areas and among travelers.

He informed Rwandans that health authorities are ready to detect and reduce the risk of infections in the country, particularly at the borders.

Dr. Nsanzimana highlighted that the new Covid-19 strain, which originated in India and is thought to be 60 percent more contagious, has not been detected in Rwanda. In a sample of 300 tests, the variants from the UK and South Africa were found in 31 samples.

More than 200,000 Rwandans who received the first dose of AstraZeneca vaccines in early March 2021 have started receiving their second doses since late May, after a two-month wait.

Rwanda received 247,000 doses of AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine from the Covax Facility on May 28 and 117,600 doses from French President Emmanuel Macron during his recent visit to Rwanda.

The vaccines were promptly sent to health centers around the country, signaling the start of the country’s second vaccination campaign.

Covid-19 vaccine has been given to 389,501 persons so far.

Rwanda’s Ministry of Health has stated that the country will get 3.5 million doses of the Pfizer vaccine to help the country reach its goal of vaccinating 60% of its 12 million people by June 2022.

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