The government of Rwanda has announced new measures in a bid to curb the spread of COVID-19, including a two-week total lockdown that only excludes emergency services and persons providing essential services.
In an decree signed by Prime Minister Édouard Ngirente, the government has also ordered that all Rwandans work from home, except for employees providing essential services.
Other aspects of the decree include the closure of borders expect for goods and cargo as well as Rwandans returning home, the prohibition of travel between cities and the closure of bars and restaurants.
Rwanda is one of at least 40 African countries that have reported cases of COVID-19. The East African country had reported at 17 cases as of Saturday 21 March, 2020.
The Rwandan government had earlier ordered schools and religious institutions to shut down temporarily. It also banned social gatherings such as weddings and parties.
COVID-19 cases continue to be reported across Africa, with the continent having surpassed 1,000 cases.
The rising figures have prompted other African countries to also take similar actions in a bid to stop further spread of the disease.
Globally, more than 234,000 COVID-19 cases have been reported, with Europe being the worst affected.
Observing the global trend of the COVID-19 & considering the experiences of other countries, there is a clear need for additional steps to ensure that COVID-19 does not spread further in Rwanda. The following measures will be in force beginning at 23:59 on 21/03/2020 for 2 weeks pic.twitter.com/vCd8hKwGAD
— Office of the PM | Rwanda (@PrimatureRwanda) March 21, 2020