Covid-19: Rwanda closes schools, imposes partial lockdown

Wednesday June 30 2021
Students Rwanda.

Students get their temperature measured before class at Lycee Notre dame de Citeaux school in Kigali, Rwanda, on November 2, 2020. PHOTO | SIMON WOHLFAHRT | AFP

By Ange Iliza

Rwanda has imposed a partial lockdown to curb the surging cases of Covid-19.

A statement released by the Prime Minister’s office on Tuesday orders the closure of schools and universities and prohibits church services, meetings and all social gatherings, effective July 1.

The 7pm-4am curfew was revised and the curfew will now run from 6pm to 4am.

Movements between Kigali and other districts have been banned except for essential services, while business have been asked to close by 5pm. Restaurants will only offer takeaway services.

Kigali City and districts of Burera, Kamonyi, Gicumbi, Rwamagana, Rubavu, Nyagatare, Rutsiro and Musanze that have recorded more cases of infections will follow stricter guidelines than the rest of the country. Most of the above districts neighbour the Democratic Republic of Congo and Uganda that are experiencing a spike in infections. 

The new guidelines come just a week after the cabinet meeting had tightened guidelines. 


“Given the surge in Covid-19 cases, and the emergence of new variants globally, the government has decided to take additional measures to control the further spread of the virus,” the statement read in part. 

Rwanda has been experiencing a severe surge in Covid-19 infections since early May where daily records and deaths increased over four times. 

The Ministry of Health said that more young people are getting infected and dying from the virus, and more patients are symptomatic. 

The spike is attributed to complacency in adhering to preventive measures by the public and the wave of infections in neighbouring Uganda and DR Congo. 

“We need the public to collaborate and adhere to these measures to see results. These measures were tightened to sustain what we have achieved so far. The previous measures have worked and we need to collaborate on this as well,” Prime Minister Edouard Ngirente said. 

As of Monday, Rwanda recorded 757 new infections and its positivity rate stands at 11 percent. 

So far, Rwanda has vaccinated 391,739 people. It targets to vaccinate 60 percent of its 12 million population by July 2022.