An extraordinary cabinet meeting chaired by President Paul Kagame via Video Conference has extended the Coronavirus lockdown for an additional fifteen (15) days.
Rwandans and residents of Rwanda will remain home until Sunday 23:59 on April 19,2020, according to the communique that was signed by Prime Minister after the cabinet meeting on Wednesday.
The cabinet renewed all the measures that were taken on March 21, 2020, that established restrictions for two following weeks which were meant to elapse on Saturday, April 4, 2020.
As previously communicated, unnecessary movements were prohibited until April 19, 2020. Only Essential services such as healthcare, food, shopping or banking, and for personnel performing such services.
Farming will continue in preparation of Season B, but farmers will have to observe guidelines from Ministry of Health.
Place of worship will also remain closed and so will all schools in the country. However, schools were encouraged to use technology to continue instructions.
The Rwanda Education Board(REB) has been trying several options including e-learning where courses were uploaded on the institutions’ websites for students in Primary and Secondary education to use them.
Of recent, REB also uploaded some bundle free content on Youtube.
In other measures, all workers from public service and private sector will continue working from home, except those providing essential services.
Borders will also remain closed until April 19 at 23:59, except for goods and cargoes and fo returning Rwandans and legal residents returning to Rwanda.
Similarly, travel between different cities and districts of the country is not permitted except for medical reasons or essential services. Moreover, transport of food and essential services will remain functional.
Shop and markets will remain closed except those selling food, health(pharmacies), hygiene and cleaning products, fuel and other essential products.
As it has been the case for the last two weeks, motos are not permitted to carry passengers but may offer delivery services.
Bars will remain closed while restaurants will remain open, only for takeaway services.
The cabinet meeting encouraged use of electronic payment to avoid liquid money handling which can further spread Covid-19.
“Electronic payments and online banking services should be used whenever possible,”read part of the communique.
The cabinet further discussed measures to mitigate the economic impact of Covid-19 as well as strategies to lessen the burden on the most vulnerable groups.
In our reporting last week, Bralirwa, the best brewery in Rwanda said it was going to suggest to shareholders an option of not paying dividends for the year 2019 given the unvoidable financial shock that will forcibly accompany Covid-19.
Meanwhile, for the most vulnerable group, the government is also distributing food to those people who had to work on a daily basis to afford a meal but cannot find food under the lockdown.
The Minister of ICT and Innovation informed the cabinet of the tools being used to fight Covid-19 and to provide e-learning education.
The Minister of Justice also briefed the cabinet on how Kwibuka 26 will be conducted in the context of Covid-19.
Earlier communique from National Commission for fight against the Genocide indicated that commemoration will include largely radio talkshows and participation of the audience.
In a few cases, paying tribute to Genocide victims at Genocide memorials will take place but involving quite a limited number of mourners, and for very limited time.
Walk to remember, the night vigil at Amahoro national stadium or at any other level will not take place.
According to a communique of the Ministry of Health, the number of Covid-19 hit 82 cases on Wednesday, April 1.
The Ministry said earlier, that the first batch of Covid-19 patients will be discharged this week since they are recovering. All the communique since the first case on March 14 say that all patients are doing well and no critical case.
Worldwide, Covid-19 cases will hit a million any time this week unless otherwise.