Botswana has entered the fifth wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, said a government official in a press release issued Friday.
The Southern African country has seen an increase in COVID-19-related mortality and hospitalization as a result of the fifth wave, said Christopher Nyanga, a spokesperson for the Ministry of Health.
COVID-19 infection waves are generally caused by new variants that emerge in the course of time.
The fifth wave, currently experienced in Botswana and elsewhere in the region and abroad, has been caused by the Omicron variant, mainly through its two sub-lineages of BA.4 and BA.5. The increase in cases affects all parts of the country, said Nyanga.
He also stated that the numbers have been relatively low and have not yet overwhelmed any of the health care facilities.
From June 12 to June 18, the Ministry of Health reported 2,214 new cases, with six deaths. Despite the fact that some countries have now reached their fifth wave peak and are recording lower cases, Botswana has yet to reach its peak. The ministry is still closely monitoring the situation, Nyanga said.
The ministry advised all COVID-19 unvaccinated Batswana and residents of the country to get vaccinated and receive booster shots as needed in order to benefit from the protection these vaccines provide, particularly against severe disease, hospitalization, and death.
According to the Ministry of Health data, Botswana has recorded 318,528 confirmed COVID-19 cases, with 2,719 deaths and a recovery rate of 99.1 percent. The number of people fully vaccinated has totaled 1,516,053, with 1,699,337 people receiving their first dose and 391,031 receiving a booster dose. Enditem