Rwanda lifts Covid lockdown on capital

  • Rwanda has lifted a Covid-19 lockdown in Kigali.
  • A curfew remains in place.
  • Infections have surged in recent weeks.

Rwanda’s government has ordered the lifting of a lockdown on the capital Kigali and eight other districts even though Covid-19 cases are still on the rise.

The new measures will run from 1 – 15 August, the government said in a statement after a cabinet meeting chaired by President Paul Kagame on Friday.

READ | Rwanda locks down capital as Covid cases surge

Movement between Kigali and other provinces and districts of the country can resume, but a dusk-to-dawn curfew remains in place.

All social gatherings are still banned and schools and churches remain closed, but weddings are allowed with a limit of 10 guests.

There was no immediate explanation for the lifting of the lockdown, which was imposed in mid-July.

Daily infections of over 1 000

Rwanda, a country of 13 million people, has enforced some of the strictest containment measures on the continent and implemented a rigorous regime of testing and contact-tracing.

But in recent weeks, infections have surged.

In total, Rwanda has registered nearly 70 000 cases of Covid-19 of which 798 have been fatal, according to figures published on Friday.

Over the past seven days it has recorded daily infections of over 1 000.

But like other countries on the continent, vaccine uptake has been slow due in part to a lack of doses and to public apathy.

A nationwide campaign aimed at vaccinating 60% of the population by next year has so far reached just over 452 000 people, according to the latest government statistics.

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