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Tue. Aug 4th, 2020

COVID-19: Possibility of a total lift of the lockdown in Rwanda still in balance as country awaits Cabinet’s decision

H.E President Paul Kagame addressing the media April27 on COVID-19 pandemic update in Rwanda (PHOTO/Courtesy)

By George Kalisa

President Paul Kagame has today told the media that the Cabinet will decide whether the lockdown is shifted or eased, adding that its decision will be incumbent upon the findings by the Ministry of Health on trends and overview of the Coronavirus containment across the country.  

Kagame, however, said that whatever decision will be reached would not comprise the measures in place to avert a relapse of the COVID-19 pandemic and a reverse of the progress the country has so far made in the containment of the pandemic.  

On April19, Rwanda extended the lockdown that was directed on March21 to April30 to allow more time to contain the disease, which was still charging.

“Much as it is inevitable to consider the next step after the reaching the deadline of the ongoing lockdown, it is clear that the country will not immediately return to total normalcy as before the arrival of the COVID-19 after April30,” said President Kagame at a virtual press conference.

“The need to consider facts on the ground is paramount in order to allay the overturn of the progress the country has made so far in the containment of the pandemic, and this requires weighing of the social and economic effects of the stay home measure against the urgent need to allay the relapse of the Coronavirus,” added Kagame.

Further explaining on the options that might be taken President Kagame said:

“The country’s next step after April30 will depend on the findings of the ongoing survey by experts deployed by the Health Ministry,” he said, ” the magnitude of the threat of Coronavirus as reflected by the statistics in the countryside and the City of Kigali will determine the kind of restrictions that can be lifted and/or eased, and those that can remain under enforcement, but all done in the interest of easing livelihoods of our people and in the spirit of containment of the pandemic”.  

As of April26 Rwanda had recorded 191 Coronavirus cases with no death and all the patients are quarantined in gazette health facilities, and there was no case in critical condition.

The country which took measures against the spread of the pandemic early enough in Africa and had so far recorded 92 recoveries of which 4 were new while active cases were 99.  

And, the government still calls for increased vigilance to mitigate the spread of the pandemic as efforts to contain are tightened.

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