At least four sectors that make up Kamembe town in Rusizi district have been put under total lockdown for two weeks.
The move was informed by an upsurge in Covid-19 infections that have been detected in the district over the past few days.
In a statement issued Thursday by the Ministry of Local Government, it was clarified that sectors including Nyakarenzo, Mururu, Kamembe and a part of Gihundwe will be in lockdown and will remain out of contact with other parts of Rusizi and the country at large, as efforts continue to isolate cases that could be in communities.
Other parts of the district which shares a border with DR Congo, will continue observing already existing precautionary measures set by the recent cabinet meeting and which are applicable in other parts of the country.
04.06.2020— Ministry of Local Government | Rwanda (@RwandaLocalGov) June 4, 2020
AMABWIRIZA YO GUKUMIRA IKWIRAKWIRA RYA KORONAVIRUSI MU KARERE KA RUSIZI. pic.twitter.com/3EPUiKS28C
All non-essential services are banned and workers are required to work from home.
Markets, shops, car washes, all construction and business activities are all banned for at least two weeks.
Restaurants and hotels will only use essential staff and only provide takeaway services, while outdoor activities such as fishing and swimming in Lake Kivu will not be allowed.
Speaking on Radio Rwanda, the State Minister in the Ministry of Health, Tharcisse Mpunga, said that more patients are being traced and found in the region.
Medical teams and facilities have been dispatched in the area to manage and contain the spread of the virus, he said.
Mpunga added that more than 2,000 samples from Kamembe are being tested per day and they intend to test the whole Kamembe town and its peripheries.
“We have been recording a big number of patients from same areas. It means the virus has been spreading for days. Until we trace all the patients, the city will remain locked,” he said.
Asked if Rubavu district, which also shares a border with DR Congo, will be put under lockdown, Mpunga said that there is no reason to lock Rubavu down so far.
“We are closely watching Rubavu. As long as we have new spreading infections, we will not hesitate to apply lockdown,” he said.
Plans to assist affected Rusizi residents
Speaking on the national radio, Anastase Shyaka, the Minister of Local Government said that the government is cognisant of the fact that majority of residents from this town thrive on trade, especially across the border and will therefore be heavily affected by the lockdown.
According to Shyaka, the government is ready to support businesses, individuals whose daily survival depended on cross-border businesses and hand-to-mouth jobs.
“We ask the public to follow the rules and worry less about food and businesses. The government is ready to provide all necessary support as long as the virus is contained,” Shyaka said.
Minister Shyaka called upon the public to adhere to preventive measures and avoid any contact with locked areas.
“Rusizi is now experiencing the worst scenario since the first Covid-19 case in March. This shows how prevalent and sudden the virus can be. All Rwandans should collaborate,” he noted
Over 20 patients have been traced in Rusizi in the last four days. The first patients were identified as cross-border business operators, truck drivers who ply the Rusizi-Bukavu route, DR Congo, and one taxi motorcyclist.Follow Ange_Iliza