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The capital Rwanda again under complete blockade of the virus





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The Rwandan capital Kigali was again under complete blockade on Tuesday following an increase in coronavirus cases in a country that has adopted some of Africa’s toughest anti-COVID measures.

The government of President Paul Kagame announced the measures late Monday after a cabinet meeting, banning “unnecessary movements” in the capital.

Rwanda imposed one of Africa’s first total outages in March 2020 and held a curfew in the evening, changing the weather and imposing curbs on transport as its eruption flourished.

The country of 12 million has had about 11,500 cases of the virus and nearly 150 deaths since the outbreak began.

A recent increase in cases has mainly affected the capital, which accounts for 61 per cent of all infections reported in January, according to health ministry statistics.

The capital appeared virtually desolate, with only a few food traders around, and the lack of usually ubiquitous motor taxis.

A government statement said all movements would require a police permit, non-core businesses, churches, schools and universities were closed and a 18:00 curfew would be held in the rest of the country.

Such measures have hit the poor hard in the past, many of whom live word of mouth for what they can earn on a given day.

“Let no Rwandan worry about where they will get their food for the next two weeks because of this blockage. The institutions are ready to help,” said local government minister Shyaka Anastase.

“What we are asking Rwandans is that they should be afraid of COVID-19 more than they are afraid of hunger. COVID is not afraid of anyone, it is not a disease for rich people, so we all need to take care. “

Rwanda has enforced its measures strictly, sending those caught breaking the curfew or not wearing masks in overnight lectures on the dangers of the virus.

Rights groups have accused police and soldiers of using pandemic and strict rules to curb the disease as cover to commit abuses against the public and targeted critics.

Health Minister Daniel Ngamije said the challenge was to get people with symptoms tested.

“They do self-medication by simply taking things like ginger and instead come to us when the symptoms are bad. But within that time, they have infected people,” he told state television.

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2021 AFP

citation: Rwandan capital again under full virus blockade (2021, January 19) retrieved from January 19, 2021 by

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