Botswana’s anti-pandemic authority on Thursday evening advised the public against traveling during the coming Independence Day holiday, warning of a potential spike in COVID-19 cases.
Speaking on national television, Kereng Masupu, the coordinator of the Presidential Task Force for COVID-19 in Botswana, said the country is continuing to register an increasing number of new positive COVID-19 cases as community spread gathers pace.
In the past week, the authority has been registering an average daily increase of 60 new cases, which is a high number given the country’s population of just over two million people, Kereng said.
Next Tuesday marks Botswana’s 54th anniversary of independence and is a national holiday, during which people usually travel between cities and towns to celebrate with their families.
However, people should consider celebrating the holiday differently this year by staying at their place of residence, as the virus has proved to spread faster when people travel, Masupu said.
To date, Botswana has confirmed 1,730 COVID-19 cases. In the past week, the country registered another three deaths from COVID-19 related complications, taking the death toll to 16.
Botswana has to date conducted over 170,000 tests, most of which were contact traced from already confirmed cases, while others were detected at entry points.
An emergency Parliament meeting is due next week to discuss a possible extension of the state of public emergency as the present emergency state will expire in a month.