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Burundi closes night clubs as it records spike in Covid-19 cases

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The Burundian government on Monday banned night clubs over the increased number of Covid-19 cases since the beginning of this year.

“Night clubs and karaoke places are suspended until further notice while drinking places and public events and gatherings should strictly observe Covid-19 preventive measures,” said Pierre Nkurikiye, the spokesman of Home Affairs minister.

The move comes after the country announced more than 100 Covid-19 cases in less than a week after tracing the contacts of people who had tested positive.

Health Minister Thaddee Ndikumana said that after 40 Covid-19 cases were registered last week, contact tracing was conducted in Bujumbura with at least 5,300 people getting tested for the virus.

“We call on the population to voluntarily turn up for the mass testing campaign,” he added.

Burundi last week announced the closure of its maritime and land borders that came into effect on Monday. Only cargo transport will be allowed in.

However, the airport will remain open and all passengers entering the country will undergo a mandatory seven-day quarantine in a hotel booked online prior to the journey to Bujumbura. Foreign nationals, including East Africans, will then pay $100 for a Covid-19 test.

According to the Burundian government, the total Covid-19 cases as of January 5 stand at 984, with 209 active cases. To date, two people have died while 773 have recovered.

Last week, President Evariste Ndayishimiye vowed to severely punish officials and individuals who violate Covid-19 measures.

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