The latest news coming in indicates that Rwanda has banned public and private transport between districts and the capital, Kigali, after the rate of coronavirus infections reached alarming levels, health officials have said.
Domestic and international tourists can still travel across the country but must carry proof of negative Covid-19 test results, the prime minister’s office said in a statement.
December was the deadliest month, claiming half of the total 105 deaths reported so far since the first case was confirmed in March last year.
Officials believe travel from cities to the countryside during the festive season is behind the new surge of infections with 820 new cases and 30 deaths recorded in the last seven days.
Rwanda has also announced that all business operations, including restaurants, shops, markets, and malls, will, effective January 5, close operations at 6:00 PM, as one of the resolutions made by a cabinet meeting, on Monday, January 4.
Tharcisse Mpunga, who is in charge of primary healthcare, told the national broadcaster that “at this level the country should enter a lockdown”.
“To contain the virus we had to stop travels inside the country for at least 14 days,” Dr Mpunga said.
The government also resolved that all social gatherings including wedding ceremonies and celebrations of all kinds are prohibited in both public and private settings.
To contain the virus, the public has been called upon to comply with existing health measures including physical distancing, proper wearing of face masks, and hand hygiene and a nationwide curfew that runs from 20:00 to 04:00 local time still remains.