All the suspects are members of ADEPR Church. They include 12 women and 11 men from different parts of the district, who had gathered for prayers.
They were found in the house of one Françine Mukantwari, 60, located in Kibirizi Sector, Mbuye Cell.
Chief Inspector of Police (CIP) Sylvestre Twajamahoro, the Southern Region Police Spokesperson said that besides disregarding the government directives, which partly prohibit mass gatherings including religious services in this period; the room where they were found is very small, they were congested and had no facemasks.
“Local residents called the Police reporting serious violations. Indeed, we found 23 people congested in a tiny room praying, with no facemasks. Some of them had traveled from the neighboring sectors.
In any case where one is infected with Coronavirus, it was very easy to infect all others who were in the same room,” said CIP Twajamahoro.
The suspects, he said, were isolated at Kibirizi Police Station for further management.
CIP Twajamahoro warned against breaching the government orders and derailing efforts to combat the pandemic of COVID-19.
“People should understand that such prohibited gatherings don’t only put their lives at stake but also those of others in their families and communities, and hampering the government efforts to combat the virus. One infected person can easily infect the whole community, these behaviors shouldn’t be tolerated and should be reported,” the spokesperson said.
CIP Twajamahoro reminded members of the public to also follow other health and hygiene guidelines put in place, especially washing hands, avoiding handshakes and wearing facemasks.
He further warned that whoever breaches the directives meant to contain the spread of COVID-19 will be brought to book.