Rwanda has put its capital Kigali back under total lockdown for 10 days effective July 17 as the country battles a severe third wave that has seen fatalities increase over the last two weeks.
As of Wednesday, Rwanda had 14,553 active coronavirus cases with a positivity rate of 17.5 percent, the highest since the beginning of the pandemic. Some 607 have succumbed to the virus while 74 people are in critical condition.
A cabinet meeting chaired by President Paul Kagame on Wednesday announced the measures, banning non-essential movements in the capital and the districts of Gicumbi, Burera, Musanze, Kamonyi, Nyagatare, Rwamagana, Rubavu and Rutsiro.
The current surge in infections has mainly affected Kigali which represents over half of reported cases, according to Rwanda Biomedical Center’s statistics.
A communique issued on Wednesday evening stated that non-essential businesses, churches, schools and universities shall all close. Employees will work from home, public transport shall not operate, and movements are prohibited except for essential reasons.
“Given the rapid spike in Covid-19 cases, the emergence of new variants and increase of Covid-19-related deaths, the government has decided to further tighten the existing control measures,” the statement said.