Inter-district travel is prohibited amid lockdown, Police warns

Police Spokesperson John Bosco Kabera. File

Police have warned people who attempt to use illegal means to get their way from one district to another, amid the ongoing coronavirus lockdown.

Preventive regulations issued by the Prime Minister's Office last week decreed among other things that unnecessary movements from one district to another are prohibited for a period of two weeks, as the country looks to curb the spread of COVID19.

To this effect, public transport was suspended all over the country as a way to ensure no movements between districts.

However, since the lockdown came into effect on Sunday, March 22, many people especially in Kigali, have been attempting to go upcountry on foot, in most cases using panya routes.

"They started such movements on Sunday and continued for about two days until Wednesday, but now the authorities have put a roadblock around Giticyinyoni to stop them,” explained an eye witness living in Kanyinya, Nyarugenge District.

Speaking in an interview with The New Times, John Bosco Kabera, the Police Spokesperson said police and other concerned entities including local authorities, are working together to ensure that the directives imposing the lockdown are followed to the letter.

"We urge the general public to abide by the instructions because they are meant to save lives. Unnecessary movements can escalate the problem, and this will not be tolerated," he said.

Government banned the movements especially to upcountry after it was established that all cases that were identified in Rwanda were in Kigali so the decision was made to contain the virus in Kigali.

"We call for the responsiveness of everyone rather than being forced. If there is anyone going beyond set boundaries, we urge those in their communities when they are going or coming from, to report them to protect themselves against the virus which can be easily transmitted by such errant members of the public,” he added.

Rwanda has so far registered 41 cases of the COVID19, a global pandemic that has infected more than 450,000 people and killed more than 20,000.

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