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Rwanda expands coronavirus lockdown areas amid surge in new infections

Measures to take effect on July 28 across 13 districts

James Tasamba   | 27.07.2021
Rwanda expands coronavirus lockdown areas amid surge in new infections

KIGALI, Rwanda

Rwanda on Tuesday announced tighter coronavirus lockdowns in 50 administrative areas as new cases surge.

The measures were designed to keep people mostly at home in areas with the highest infection rates based on a health assessment, said local government minister Jean Marie Vianne Gatabazi.

They will take effect from July 28 through Aug. 10 and spread across 13 districts where Gatabazi said there was laxity in the observance of preventive measures that led to a spike in infections.

The measures were announced one day after the government extended a lockdown in the capital Kigali and eight other districts as it battles the surge in infections fueled by the Delta variant.

Kigali, Burera, Gicumbi, Kamonyi, Musanze, Nyagatare, Rubavu, Rwamagana, and Rutsiro have already have been under a 10-day lockdown imposed July 17 which was due to end Monday.

But the government announced late Sunday that restrictions will remain in place until at least July 31.

Rwanda registered 791 new infections on Monday, bringing the total cases to 63,737, including 757 fatalities.

Health Minister Daniel Ngamije said the Delta strain is now responsible for 56.6% of all infections during the current wave in Rwanda, while 5.6% of new cases have been caused by a variant that is yet to be identified.

Rwanda, a country of some 13 million, has fully vaccinated just slightly more than 428,000 people but is aiming to cover at least 30% of its population by the end of the year.

The government expects to receive 3.5 million doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech jab by December, along with 2.1 million doses of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.

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