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Coronavirus: More Pain as Rwanda Extends Lockdown for 2 More Weeks

Rwanda has extended its lockdown for 14 more days as cases of Coronavirus soared to 82 after 7 new infections were confirmed on Wednesday.

An extraordinary cabinet meeting chaired by President Paul Kagame on Wednesday decided that to “further contain the outbreak”, the “existing measures” would remain in place “until 23:59 on Sunday 19th April, 2020.” Unnecessary movements and visits outside the home are not permitted except for essential services such as healthcare, food, shopping or banking.

“Farming will continue in preparation for the ongoing agricultural season B while observing guidelines from health authorities,” reads a cabinet communique seen by ChimpReports. Places of worship and education institutions will remain closed.

Borders will remain closed except for goods and cargo as well as Rwandans who will be subjected to a mandatory 14-day quarantine. Travel between districts is prohibited unless for medical reasons.

Only shops and markets selling foodstuffs will be allowed to operate and motorcycles are banned from carrying passengers.

Timothy Manzi, a resident of Kigali, told ChimpReports this Thursday that the extension of the lockdown “means more pain. Essential supplies and our meager resources are running out. We are hungry and hopeless about our situation.”

Bars will remain shut while cafes will be allowed to only provide takeaways.

The cabinet discussed measures to mitigate economic impact of COVID-19 “as well as strategies to lessen the burden the most vulnerable groups” but didn’t provide details. Just like most Africans, millions of Rwandans live below the poverty line.

Thousands recently fled their homes in search of food and water, leading to clashes with police during which two people were shot dead.

But Police said the deaths were not related to the implementation of the lockdown guidelines.

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