Rwanda extends lockdown until April 19

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Cabinet Wednesday extended COVID-19 lockdown until April 19 in order to further contain the virus outbreak, with some hope as first patients are expected to be discharged this week.

The announcement came hours after the Health Ministry confirmed 7 new cases of coronavirus, bringing the total number to 82.

According to a communiqué, President Paul Kagame commended Rwandans and stakeholders in various sectors for their solidarity, acknowledging the efforts made in observing the preventive measures to slow the spread of the virus.

Unnecessary movement and visits outside the home remains banned except for essential services such as healthcare, food shopping or banking and for personnel performing such services, the communiqué issued by the Prime Minister’s office said.

Places of worship will remain closed as well as schools and higher education institutions both public and private, it said.

All employees public and private shall continue to use technology to work from home, except for those providing essential services, the communiqué said.

It also said borders will remain closed except for goods and cargo as well as returning Rwandan citizens and legal residents who will be subject to mandatory 14 day quarantine at designated locations.

In addition, travel between different cities and districts of the country is not permitted except for medical reasons or essential services.

Besides transport of food and essential services which will continue to function, shops and markets will remain closed except those selling food, medicine and other essentials.

Government had announced initial two-week lockdown on March 21.

Global figures reached more than 900,000 COVID-19 cases as of Wednesday, according to data by Johns Hopkins University.

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