Rwanda announced new restrictions on Monday, including a ban on marriages, as it struggles to contain an increase in coronavirus infections.
“All social gatherings, including celebrations of all kinds, are prohibited,” a government statement said Monday evening. “Traditional, civil and religious marriages are suspended.”
Other measures due to go into effect on Wednesday include extending a nationwide curfew from 7:00 p.m. (5:00 p.m. GMT) to 4:00 a.m., restrictions on movement between districts and suspension of travel in plane to neighboring Uganda where cases of coronavirus are on the rise.
“The public is reminded of the crucial importance of respecting health measures, including physical distancing, the wearing of face masks and hand hygiene. Sanctions will be applied in the event of non-compliance,” the statement said.
Rigorous testing regime
Rwanda has so far avoided the worst of the pandemic by enforcing some of the continent’s strictest containment measures and implementing a rigorous testing and contact tracing regime.
But in recent weeks, cases have increased, with authorities counting 662 cases and seven deaths on Monday.
The country of 12 million people has recorded a total of 31,435 positive cases and 388 deaths since the start of the pandemic.
A nationwide campaign to immunize 60 percent of the population by next year has so far reached only three percent of the population.