Botswana to extend national lockdown to contain COVID-19


Botswanan President Mokgweetsi Masisi has announced that the current national lockdown will be extended for another week as the country continues its efforts to contain the spread of COVID-19.

Masisi made the announcement when addressing the nation about the progress on the fight against the virus on Monday evening.

The ongoing four-week lockdown was set to expire on April 30, but now it has been extended until May 7.

Masisi said the decision was based on advice from health experts following an increase in the cases of local transmission last week.

The president also said that, after May 7, the lockdown will be eased for two more weeks and hopefully it will be ended by the end of May.

According to the president, it will be done in three phases: the first phase being the last week of extreme social distancing that ends on May 7, where the current lockdown rules will apply; the second phase being for the following week where new rules will be revealed, easing on movement restrictions; and the last phase being the third week when the lockdown is expected to be fully relaxed and the country returning to normal business.

He, however, cautioned that the success of the implementation of these phases is dependent upon people’s adherence to the COVID-19 rules and regulations.

He said health officials are now busy with contact tracing and testing in areas where individuals who tested positive have been.

“As at April 25, 2020, the country received 6,210 samples for testing, out of which 6,188 were negative and 22 were positive with one fatality,” said the president. Enditem

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