Botswana extends hard lockdown by a week
RUSTENBURG - Hard lockdown regulations in Botswana will continue until the first week of May, President Mokgweetsi Masisi said on Monday.
He said the current hard lockdown would be extended from May 1 to 7 and then relaxed phases would be introduced.
"As government our strategic focus as advised by the Covid-19 Presidential Task Force is the containment of the spread and transmission of the pandemic in the country. Therefore the discovery of locally transmitted cases has prompted us to ramp up our testing through contact tracing," he said in a televised national address.
"A new cluster of Covid-19 outbreak is actively investigated in Metsimotlhabe where a total of seven Batswana tested positive for Covid-19. The seven cases from Metsimotlhabe were exposed to Covid-19 prior to the national lockdown and several Batswana who are not aware of their exposure travelled to their home villages across the country. Active contract tracing and assessment of possible Covid-19 infection for all person known to have been exposed from Metsimotlhabe is on going through the breath of the country with the support from several local and international partners."
He said the outbreak in Metsimotlhabe has resulted in several public and private areas around Metsimotlhabe being treated as infectious.
"Bagaetsho [compatriot] it is imported to inform you that the extended lockdown also involves an exit plan which is based on the success we anticipate. The extension of the current 28 days lockdown period will be implemented in following phases:-
"Phase one – we will extend the current lockdown conditions by one week that is from May 1 to 7, during this period we will also develop and finalised regulations for a phased lifting lockdown rules in low risk sectors."
Phase two starts from May 8 to 14 and phased three from May 15 to 22.
He said the plan to relax the lockdown would depend on the Covid-19 level remaining low and if it grow a hard lockdown would be implemented.
Botswana is on a six-month long state of emergency in a bid to cut the spread of Covid-19.
The country has recorded 22 cases with one death. Masisi said 21 were recovering and would soon released from quarantine.
The coronavirus officially known as Covid-19 was first recorded in Wuhan, the capital of China’s Hubei province in December of 2019 and it spill over to other parts of the world.
So far there were over three million confirmed cases worldwide, nearly 210,000 deaths and just over 900,000 recoveries.
-African News Agency (ANA); Editing by Devereaux Morkel