COVID-19: Public urged to adhere to new prevention directives

On Saturday, June 12, the Cabinet Meeting chaired by His Excellency Paul Kagame, President of the Republic of Rwanda reviewed the guidelines meant to prevent the spread of Covid-19.

Under the new directives, which will be reviewed after two weeks, movements are prohibited between 9pm and 4am, all businesses must close by 8pm and passenger service vehicles should not exceed 50% capacity.

Places of worship adhering to health guidelines will continue to function at 30% maximum occupancy, down from 50% during the previous weeks. Gyms will be allowed to resume activities without exceeding 10% of maximum occupancy observing guidelines, with a detailed schedule to be communicated by the Ministry of Sport.

Dr. Daniel Ngamije, the Ministry of Health said the government reviewed the directives due to the spike in new Covid-19 cases in the past two weeks.

Over the last seven days alone, 935 new cases were registered with active cases increasing from 660 on June 6, to 1435 cases as of June 12.

“Between April and May, Minister Ngamije said daily new cases were not exceeding 50. However, new daily reported cases have increased to more than four-folds as of June 12.
At least 284 new cases were registered on June 12, and 202 recorded the previous day on June 11. The majority cases are recorded in City of Kigali and Rubavu District, according to the Minister.

Out of 284 cases registered on Saturday, 75 were in Rubavu, 71 in Kigali and 27 in Musanze.

Minister Ngamije attributed the spike to people, who undermine the directives and safety guidelines including prohibited gatherings, Rwandan nationals returning from Uganda and the recent mass movement of people to and from DRC due to the volcanic eruptions.

He said that the Government of Rwanda is still making efforts to acquire more vaccines and urged all people living in Rwanda to exercise patience and follow the recommended prevention guidelines.
Rwanda National Police (RNP) spokesperson, CP John Bosco Kabera warned anyone with negative ideology and attempt to think they can live their lives contrary to the directives.

“There are some people with negative thinking that they can go on living their lives despite the presence of Covd-19; this ideology means you are intentionally disregarding the government directives and derailing efforts to contain the pandemic. This situation of Covid-19 is not our choice as Rwandans and no one can be allowed to choose such a reckless life and putting other people in danger,” CP Kabera warned.

He added that the only choice now is to follow the directives and health guidelines as the government continues to strengthen all available efforts to combat the pandemic.

“It was observed that there are people including those with liquor stores, who after closing their shops turn their private cars and homes into bars. Bars and parties in cars and homes are prohibited and anyone caught in such errant behaviours will equally face the consequences,” CP Kabera cautioned.

The Minister of Local Government, Jean Marie Vianney Gatabazi said that the local leadership in collaboration with the Police are going to heighten the enforcement of directives especially targeting bars and other social gatherings, which were observed as one of the causes for the raise in Covid-19 cases.

“Only 30 people are allowed to participate in civil and religious wedding functions. Traditional wedding functions will be held in hotels or gardens with 30% of maximum occupancy and with negative Covid-19 results not exceeding three days prior to the event. Local leaders, Police and other organs will work together to enforce these directives,’’ said Minister Gatabazi

The Minister of Trade and Industry, Beata Uwamaliza Habyarimana urged the business community to set an example to their clients by adhering to the revised government directives to contain Covid-19.

She reminded them to avail all the required facilities such as handwashing facilities, ensure social distancing in their businesses and customers wear masks to make sure that the virus is not spread easily.

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