Rwanda has formulated a social protective plan for the delivery of free food to at least 20,000 households in the capital Kigali.
The door-to-door delivery is meant to mitigate the impact of a lockdown implemented on March 21 by the government, aimed at limiting the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic.
On Friday Rwandan President Paul Kagame acknowledged that people’s livelihoods had been affected by the lockdown.
“We know that this is not an easy period for most Rwandans, whose livelihoods have been interrupted across the country. But we ask you to be patient. Although we are making good progress, we cannot afford to relax yet,” he said.
The social protection plan would support the most vulnerable in communities, Kagame added.
“We need to speed this up. The government will continue to do everything possible, to support Rwandans through this challenging time,” he said.
Kagame said he also planned to provide essential services such as the supply of water and electricity for free.
A statement from the health ministry said ten additional cases of Covid-19 had been reported in Rwanda, raising the national tally to 70. The East African country reported its first case two weeks ago.
The new infections include six people who recently travelled from Dubai, two coming back from South Africa, one traveller from Nigeria and another who had travelled in the East Africa region.
All patients are in isolation and in stable conditions, the ministry said.
“Heightened vigilance continues to be required,” it said.
“Enhanced prevention measures announced by the government of Rwanda must be rigorously observed; non-essential businesses are closed, travel between cities and districts is suspended and non-essential movement outside of the home are not permitted,” said the health ministry in a statement.