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Minister Gatabazi explains why Gvt lifted lockdown in ten sectors

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Minister of Local Government, Jean Marie Vianney Gatabazi has said that lifting lockdown in ten sectors should not leave a loophole for complacency against COVID-19 containment measures because the pandemic has not yet been defeated.

On Thursday 2nd September 2021, MINALOC released a communiqué allowing ten sectors from Southern and Eastern Province to go back to normal after 20-day lockdown.

The lockdown was lifted following a drop in new COVID-19 positive cases.

Sectors permitted to go back to normal include Tumba and Gishamvu from Huye district and Byimana from Ruhango district of Southern Province. Others include Muhura, Kageyo and Remera sector from Gatsibo district as well as Rukara, Murundi, Nyamirama and Mwiri from Kayonza district in Eastern Province.

The lockdown was lifted one day after the cabinet meeting held on Wednesday 1st September eased COVID-19 restrictions where concerts and gaming activities were permitted to resume.

Among others the cabinet meeting reduced curfew hours set to 10p.m through 4a.m in Kigali City and 9p.m through 4a.m in other parts of the country that are not identified as major hotspots for COVID-19 positive cases.

The cabinet has however set an exception for selected districts of Burera, Gicumbi, Kirehe, Ngoma, Nyagatare, Nyamasheke, Nyaruguru and Rwamagana with high COVID-19 incidence where curfew will apply between 8p.m and 4a.m with businesses closing by 7p.m.

Latest figures from the Ministry of Health shows that some districts including Nyagatare, Ngoma, Kirehe, Gicumbi, Burera and Nyamashake have higher positivity rate above 7%.

For instance, the prevalence of new COVID-19 cases in Nyagatare district stands at 17.8% and 17.1% in Gicumbi while the positivity rate stands at 0.8% in some districts of Kigali City.

Appearing in RTV talk show, Minister Gatabazi has explained that some sectors would have been be put under lockdown but restrictions were eased to allow residents continue activities in adherence to instituted health guidelines.

He urged people with businesses allowed to resume to own preventive measures instead of waiting for law enforcers to be compliant.

“The fact that we lifted the lockdown doesn’t mean all sectors are all free from Coronavirus. It is rather a way of seeking an alternative to avoid prolonged halting of activities. It is an occasion to concert efforts in collaboration with residents, religious denominations, businesses, hotels and wedding venues among others to develop a sense of responsibility and own preventive measures,” he said.

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