Due to the surge in Covid-19, the Cabinet imposed a lockdown in the City of Kigali along with the eight other districts of Burera, Gicumbi, Kamonyi, Musanze, Nyagatare, Rubavu, Rwamagana and Rutsiro.
During the post Cabinet press conference held on Thursday, July 15, the government elaborated on the new directives and emphasized behavioral change and maximum compliance to slow down the spread of the virus and save lives.
Present at the press conference were ministers; Dr. Daniel Ngamije of Health, Jean Marie Vianney Gatabazi of Local Government, Béata Habyarimana of Trade and Industry; Minister of State in the Ministry of Health, Dr. Tharcisse Mpunga and RNP spokesperson, Commissioner of Police (CP) John Bosco Kabera.
CP Kabera assured the public that Rwanda National Police has necessary requirements for the inspection and enforcement of the directives as well as rolling out awareness to ensure maximum adherence to the direcives.
He added that it is crucial for the people to act responsibly to be safe from the virus instead of being forced.
"There are reasons that caused the lockdown, including people whose behaviours and actions fueled further spread of the virus and loss of lives, which should be a lesson to everyone to comply with the new safety guidelines, stay at home or stay in the district," CP Kabera said.
In the last two weeks alone, CP Kabera said, over 119, 000 people were arrested across the country for violating the government directives. Among them, over 5, 000 were caught gathered in homes, bushes and other remote places that had been turned into bars.
"The Police’s wish is not to arrest anyone; it is to see everyone complying and for everyone to be safe from the virus," CP Kabera said.
He further said that the force will continue to facilitate people seeking emergency services but added that those applying for the movement permit should be honest and use the acquired permit for the right purpose.
"If you want to go for the burial, you have to show the death certificate; if you want to go to the hospital or related medical services, show the medical appointment to get the movement clearance permit. Police officers are there to help anyone in need of emergency services."
The movement permit can be applied online through www.mc.gov.rw of dial *127# and follow prompts.
For those engaged in other infrastructure development projects, they will go through line institutions, which will provide the list to RNP for the movement permit.
The Minister of Health, Dr. Daniel Ngamije said that placing some districts under lockdown is a government deliberate effort to contain the spread of the deadly virus.
According to the Ministry of Health, at least 60 percent of the new Covid infections are Delta variants.
Dr. Ngamije appealed to Rwandans to go for Covid-19 test to know their status. He further encouraged all people above the age of 18 to actively take part in the free Covid testing but also urged those with financial means to embrace this life-saving exercise.
"The lockdown prevents unnecessary movements and thus slows down the spread of the virus, those infected can be well followed up while at home. It helps us to get information on infections in a particular district, sector, cell and village so that by the end of nine days, life can be back to normal and people going about their errands as usual," Minister Ngamije said.
Local Government Minister, Jean Marie Vianney Gatabazi urged residents of Rwanda to change their attitudes and actions adding that the lives lost should be a wake up call towards behavioral change.
"The current situation calls for individual responsibility, to remind your neighbour, relative, friends; the old to remind the young ones of positive practices including the directives to ensure maximum compliance and jointly save lives," Minister Gatabazi said.
The Minister of Trade and Industry, Beata Habyarimana reminded those providing essential services such as food, healthcare, banking and petroleum as well as hygiene to respect the 30 percent maximum personnel and other prevention guidelines.
She further urged them to ensure that their customers observe the health guidelines such as social distancing, wearing masks, washing hands, and where necessary operate in open places.