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Botswana lifts ban on alcohol sale, public gatherings

Photographer-Tracey Adams

Photographer-Tracey Adams

Published Sep 4, 2021


RUSTENBURG – Botswana has lifted the sale of alcohol and public gathering following the declining number of Covid-19 infections cases and deaths, President Mokgweetsi Masisi has said on Friday.

In a televised national address, he has said all public gatherings, including weddings will be allowed while following Covid-19 health protocols, as of September 6.

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"The ban on the sale of alcohol will be lifted and allowed on a take away basis as per level 3 of the emergency response framework," he said.

He said the number of people at religious gatherings and church services remains at a maximum of 50 and such gatherings and services shall be held twice in a week.

Funerals will be conducted within a period of five days from date of death and all established Covid-19 health protocols will be enforced.

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He says Botswana has experienced a gradual decrease in the number of new infections and deaths since August 13.

"As at 14 August, we had 13,380 active cases translating to more than 1,000 cases per day with a positivity rate at 27 percent. By the 30 August, active cases had dropped to 5,146 and daily cases halved with a positivity rate at nine percent, nearly a threefold decrease. We have also witnessed a significant decrease in hospital admissions with a 70 percent decline in patients admitted into our Covid-19 treatment facilities."

He says Botswana has fully vaccinated 21.6 percent of the currently eligible population of about 1, 531, 000 people.

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He says 1,009,974 doses, comprising Sinovac, Astrazeneca, Johnson and Johnsonm as well as Moderna are expected to be delivered during September.

"This number includes the 404,494 doses of Sinovac due to arrive this Sunday. The total number of vaccines expected this month, together with those that have been received so far, will mean that by the end of October, 975, 782) Batswana will be fully vaccinated translating into 64 percent of the target population being fully vaccinated."

He said inter-zonal movement continues to be restricted to essential travel only and schools will reopened as planned.

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Schools opened on August 31 in the first phase and the second phase would be on September 7.

– African News Agency

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