Rwanda impose curfew days after detecting Omicron variant

Will Kenya mirror her neighbour?

TOPSHOT - Rwanda's President Paul Kagame speaks during an interview with international media at the presidency office in Kigali, on May 28, 2021. (Photo by Simon Wohlfahrt / AFP) (Photo by SIMON WOHLFAHRT/AFP via Getty Images)

Rwanda has imposed a 10pm-4am curfew and suspended the popular mass sports, car free day, in new Covid-19 restrictions as the country grapples with a fresh wave of virus infections.

Rwanda recorded six cases of the Omicron variant while new virus infections have been on the rise in the capital Kigali with 45 Covid-19 patients hospitalised over the past week.

“The City of Kigali regrets to inform that Kigali Car Free Day mass sport scheduled to take place on Sunday, 19 December 2021 is cancelled due to the current rise in Covid-19 cases.

Everyone is requested to be vigilant and avoid mass gatherings as Covid-19 remains a threat,” municipal authorities announced Friday.

The Prime Minister’s office Friday issued “additional measures to control further spread of the virus” only three days after Cabinet suspended night clubs, concerts and live band entertainment, and imposed remote working rules for employees.

The additional rules have pushed curfew time forward from the longstanding midnight to 10pm effective December 20, while closing time for businesses will be moved to 9pm from the current 11pm.

“The Ministry of Health may temporarily close public or private premises with identified clusters of people infected with Covid-19,” Prime Minister Edouard Ngirente said in a communique.

While bars, restaurants, and all services held at places of worship are allowed to continue, they are restricted on the number of people they host, but “in Kigali and secondary cities, all clients, attendees must be fully vaccinated.

Events’ organisers will be penalised for non-compliance with health measures,” added the communique.

By Friday, the country had so far fully vaccinated 4.6 million people, while another 7.1 million had received the first dose of the vaccine.

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