Rwanda reinstates lockdown in parts of capital

June 26, 2020
Motorbike taxi drivers get instuctions on how to use the new GPS cashless payment device given by the government at Nyamirambo stadium, in Kigali on May 29, 2020. - Motorbike taxi drivers have to use this new GPS device with a cashless payment application when they will start working from June 1, 2020 since the nationwide lockdown that started on March 22, 2020 as a part of preventive measures against the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus. The government distributes the new device to all 26000 registered drivers in Kigali to use cashless payment application. According to Rwanda Utilities Regulatory Authority (RURA), they cover 60 percent of the public transport. (Photo by Simon Wohlfahrt / AFP) (Photo by SIMON WOHLFAHRT/AFP via Getty Images)

Rwandan authorities have imposed a stay-at-home order in parts of the capital, Kigali, following a rise in new cases of coronavirus.

People living in Gikondo Hill in Kicukiro District, and some parts of Mount Kigali in Nyarugenge district, have been ordered to “immediately stay home for a period of at least 15 days,” according to statement from the interior ministry.

The order was announced on Thursday night and many residents woke up on Friday unaware of it. Clarisse Mutamuliza, who lives in Gikondo, was ordered back to her house by police as she headed to work.

“I hadn’t seen it in the news, it was announced late last night. I didn’t even know there were coronavirus cases in my neighbourhood,” Ms Mutamuliza told BBC Great Lakes.

The interior ministry said it reinstated the lockdown “based on analysis by health officials over coronavirus status in Kigali”.

Rwanda has in the past seven days recorded 204 new cases, 21 of them in Kigali.

Most of the recent cases were recorded in an eastern town bordering Tanzania, and in another western town bordering the Democratic Republic of Congo.

The East African nation became the first in sub-Saharan Africa to order a total shutdown after confirming its first coronavirus case on 21 March. The restrictions were eased 45 days later, in May.

The country has so far confirmed 850 cases, 385 recoveries and two deaths.