Surge in infections linked to upcountry travel during the festive season
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.
The country has in the past seven days recorded 820 new cases and 30 deaths.
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.
New restrictions were announced on Monday night that will see business premises close at 18:00 local time and social gatherings and events prohibited.
A nationwide curfew that runs from 20:00 to 04:00 local time still remains.