COVID-19: 20 arrested in hotel sauna


Twenty people were arrested on the evening of Saturday May 23 at the Lebanon Hotel in Remera, Gasabo District where they were found in a sauna and massage room.

Sauna and massage are among the prohibited services in this period when the country is fighting and preventing the pandemic of the novel coronavirus.


Among those arrested are Raymond Bizwinayo, the hotel proprietor, Christopher Tuyishime, the Manager and Alexis Nyiridandi, who is in charge of the Sauna.


Bizwinayo distanced himself from the unlawful acts, arguing that the Sauna and massage services were under different management although they were operating within the same facility.


Tuyishime said that sauna and massage services were opened the same day the government opened hotels and other hospitality establishments.

Alexandre Kanyambo, one of the arrested clients narrated that he was called by a friend informing him of a place open to sauna and massage services.

"I left Gacuriro to Remera, joined my friend to the hotel where we were caught. I wasn't aware that these are among the prohibited services, but now I know I breached the government directives to be in a congested place like Sauna," said Kanyambo.

Rwanda National Police (RNP) spokesperson, CP John Bosco Kabera said that the actions were contrary to government directives and guidelines meant to prevent the spread of coronavirus.

"Sauna and massage parlour are among the prohibited services in this period. These people were in the same room where, if one of them was infected with the virus, he or she could have infected others; it was risky and unlawful," said Kabera.

He added: "At this level, we expect everyone; owners and managers of business facilities, and the public, in general, to be at the peak of positive response. But of course, we still have such people whose actions hamper the government response to the problem in our midst, and putting lives of other people at risk."

"These people came from different areas of Kigali, met in one place and no one knew the status of the other.

We want to repeat this; whoever breaches the directives will be arrested and we continue to thank some members of the public for the partnership and reporting such serious violations."

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