December 13, 2020

Nearly 2,000 Bars Closed Monthly for Flauting COVID-19 Regulations


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In one instance, more than 230 revellers were found locked inside a Kigali spot having in complete disregard of the night curfew

Government ministers warned Sunday that the population has become complacent towards COVID-19 which has resulted in current infection wave.

On Saturday, 100 cases were recorded, following up on a trend that has been happening for for weeks. This, despite the most wide ranging control measures put in place compared to any other country in the region.

Three ministers and the police spokesman appeared Sunday on a syndicated radio-TV program, indication that government is worried. They were Health Minister Dr Daniel Ngamije, local government’s Prof Anastase Shyaka, Trade and Industry’s Soraya Hakuziyaremye and police spokesman CP Jean Bosco Kabera.

Prof Shyaka said people were holding super spreader events especially elites, which are contributing to increase infections.

Another cause was the bars, which have not officially been opened since closure in March, but owners were operating them while employing hide and seek tactics. Restaurants are allowed to operate.

“You enter a spot which claims to be a restaurant, but people are hiding alcohol bottles or they pour the alcohol in tea cups,” said Shyaka.

Since July, 9,600 bars have been closed completely after they were found operating. In the last 12 days of December alone, 347 bars were closed.

It suggests that since July, over 60 bars have been closed EVERY SINGLE DAY. The government is clearly dealing with a people who seem to be silently ignoring the regulations.

There is a 10pm to 4am night curfew in place. However, Police spokesman Kabera said people are locking themselves in joints till late. Those with cars were using neighborhood roads in attempt to dodge police patrols.

“You may think you are dodging the Police, yet you are going to get the virus. What is worse?,” said Kabera.

Illegal prayer sessions were also very common, as people congregate in homes or lock themselves in their churches without any social distance.

Meanwhile, at least 17 people are on ventilators in critical condition, also an unusually high figure compared to previous months which had less than five any any given time.

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