Rwanda hands out food rations amid lockdown

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Samba Cyuzuzo BBC Great Lakes

The authorities in Rwanda’s capital, Kigali, have started distributing food rations to vulnerable families affected by a 15-day coronavirus lockdown that started on Tuesday.

All movements outside homes require an approved permit from the police, except for essential service providers.

Households started receiving sacks of rice, maize flour and beans on Thursday evening, a BBC Great Lakes reporter in the city says.

Some 3,000 families have been identified as the most vulnerable. The city has a population of about one million people.

There have been concerns that hundreds of thousands of residents who live hand to mouth would face hunger during the lockdown.

The authorities have assured that food will reach the most vulnerable, as well as poor Covid-19 patients being treated at home.

The rations were being delivered by volunteers who had tested negative before the programme started, city officials said.

A free phone line is available for requests from “those who want and merit the food aid to be delivered at their doorsteps”.

On Thursday Rwanda reported nine Covid-19 deaths, the highest daily fatalities so far, and 310 new cases.