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Rwanda To Lockdown Capital As COVID-19 Cases Soar

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Officials say Rwanda will put the capital Kigali and eight other areas throughout the country on lockdown starting Saturday to combat rising coronavirus cases and deaths.

The limits will endure until July 26, according to a statement released late Wednesday by Prime Minister Edouard Ngirente’s office.

“Citizens are instructed to drastically decrease social interactions and limit their movements to only needed services,” the report stated.

Except for those providing critical services, all governmental and private workplaces have been ordered shuttered.

Other rules that will go into effect include a prohibition on outdoor sports and recreational activities, as well as school closures and a limit of 15 individuals attending funerals.

International tourists and arrivals, on the other hand, will continue.

A dusk-to-dawn curfew that was imposed across the country in June is still in effect.

Rwanda has managed to dodge the worst of the pandemic so far by enforcing some of the continent’s harshest containment measures and instituting thorough testing and contact tracking program.

However, as the East African nation confronts more deadly forms of the virus, including delta, infections have risen dramatically in recent weeks.

Hospitals are overburdened, with a catastrophic shortage of beds and crucial medications.

Nearly 51,000 instances of Covid-19 have been reported in the country of 13 million people, with 607 deaths.

However, vaccination uptake has been slow in this country, as it has been in others on the continent, due to a paucity of doses and public apathy.

According to the most recent official figures, a statewide vaccination effort aimed at vaccinating 60% of the population by next year has only reached 401,160 people.

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