Rwandans urged to adhere to new, existing COVID-19 preventive measures

On 16 December 2020 at 06:52

Rwanda National Police (RNP) has reminded all Rwandans to comply with the new and existing health guidelines on prevention from the spread of COVID-19, rather than being forced.

RNP spokesperson, CP John Bosco Kabera, while appearing of Rwanda Television on Tuesday, December 15, said that some people comply when forced or only for fear of being arrested.

The Cabinet meeting held on Monday, December 14, set new measures in response to the fight against further spread of the COVID-19, most of which took effect on December 15.

The new measures include prohibited movements between 9pm and 4am (with exception of Musanze District where movements are prohibited between 7pm and 4pm) effective December 15 to 21st.

With effect from December 22 up to January 4, movements will be prohibited from 8pm to 4am. All social gatherings including wedding ceremonies and celebrations of all kinds are now prohibited in both public and private settings; meetings and conferences should not exceed 30 percent of the venue capacity while event organizers must comply with COVID-19 prevention measures. A certificate for negative negative test for COVID-19 will, however, be required for all participants.

Meetings and conferences in Musanze are suspended for the next three weeks.
Offices of public and private institutions will operate at 30 percent capacity; other employees will continue working from home on a rotational basis.

Public transport will now operate at 50 percent capacity in compliance with COVID-19 prevention measures; services at places of worship shall operate once a week with no more than 50 percent of maximum occupancy, except in Musanze when attendance is at 30 percent maximum occupancy.

Funerals should not exceed 50 persons but the maximum number is 30 persons in Musanze; the maximum number at the vigil is 15 persons at a time; gyms and swimming pools have been closed with related services only allowed for tested hotel residents; football competitions and training suspended except for national teams and clubs involved in international competitions.

The Minister of Health, Dr Daniel Ngamije warned that the new directives can be revised and tightened further any time, if people don’t adhere to health guidelines.
The Cabinet directives emphasized the critical importance of complying with the health measures including physical distancing, wearing facemask and hand washing, warning of penalties for non-compliance.

All other existing measures and guidelines remain in force.

On the specific measures for Musanze, Dr. Ngamije said that this was informed by the increase in infections in the district.

"In our random testing, we found that at least 13 percent of those tested were positive; any positive cases beyond 10 percent in random testing raises concern that requires immediate and relatively tougher measures," Minister Ngamije said.

Meanwhile, CP Kabera reminded all Rwandans to comply for own safety from catching COVID-19 or spreading it.

“Complying because you are being watched or for fear of being arrested will not save you from getting infected. Fear the COVID-19 not the Police," CP Kabera said.

He explained that Police officers across the country continue to work with other relevant entities such as local leaders and youth volunteers to enforce the directives, including awareness, arresting and penalising violators.

"It’s a combination of education and enforcement. We urge people to continue sharing information on violators; bars, restaurants and hotels that hide under their permitted services to sell alcohol; people turning their homes into bars or holding events and other prohibited gatherings.

If a hotel allows people, who are not their residents, to access their gym and swimming pool services, the owner or management will be held accountable including likely closure of the facility."