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Rwanda locks down capital as COVID-19 cases surge

By Edith Mutethya in Nairobi, Kenya | | Updated: 2021-07-15 20:19
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A man receives a vaccine against the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) at the Masaka hospital in Kigali, Rwanda March 5, 2021. [Photo/Agencies]

Rwanda has put its capital, Kigali, and eight other districts across the country under lockdown for 10 days beginning on Saturday to curb the spread of the devastating COVID-19 third wave.

In a communique published by the office of the prime minister on Wednesday, the country banned movement and visits outside of home in the districts of Burera, Gicumbi, Kamonyi, Musanze, Nyagarate, Rubavu, Rwamagana and Rutsiro.

Only movement to access essential services, like healthcare, food shopping and banking, and personnel performing such services will be allowed.

Arriving and departing passengers at Kigali International Airport will be required to present a negative COVID-19 polymerase chain reaction test taken within 72 hours before departure.

Tourism activities will continue to operate in strict adherence to COVID-19 health guidelines.

A nationwide curfew from 6 pm to 4 am was maintained, as well as a ban on inter-district movements.

The Delta variant, first reported in India, has been attributed to surging cases of COVID-19 in the east African country.

As of Wednesday, Rwanda had recorded 50,742 COVID-19 infection cases and 607 deaths, according to the Ministry of Health.

The country has so far vaccinated 401,160 of its 12.6 million population.

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