Rwanda extends lockdown on capital city

KIGALI (XINHUA) – The Rwandan government on Tuesday extended nationwide measures against COVID-19 until Sunday, including a lockdown in the capital city Kigali, while a curfew with other restrictions were announced to replace the lockdown for the next two weeks starting February 8.

Rwandan Minister of Health Daniel Ngamije said later Tuesday the extension will help to consolidate gains brought by the lockdown.

Health tests showed that the lockdown imposed on Kigali in the past two weeks slowed down the virus transmission, Ngamije said on the national broadcaster Rwanda Television, adding that before the lockdown, cases registered in Kigali were more than all cases in provinces combined, while the latest figures showed that the capital registered fewer cases compared to provinces.

In the past three days, the number of recoveries surpassed new cases, meaning the number of active cases are going down,he said.

Kigali returned to a lockdown on January 18 due to a surge in COVID-19 cases in the city.

For the next two weeks from February 8, a curfew from 7pm to 4am and other restrictions will be imposed, read a Cabinet Communique released by Office of the Prime Minister.

A police officer guides passengers at a bus station in Kigali, Rwanda. PHOTO: XINHUA