Botswana President Masisi delays reopening of schools as Covid-19 infections rise
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Rustenburg – Schools in Botswana will not reopen on Tuesday due to an increase in Covid-19 infections.
President Mokgweetsi Masisi delayed the reopening of schools by three weeks at the weekend, saying the country has recorded a high number of Covid-19 infection cases.
In a televised national address on Covid-19 measures, Masisi said schools would remain closed, except for students preparing for their final examinations.
"We have recorded an exponential increase in positive cases and fatalities, severely straining our fragile healthcare system.
“This is due to the Delta variant of Covid-19, which is easily transmissible and apparently more lethal compared to other variants," he said.
He said Covid-19 infections continue to increase and the current projections show that Botswana may not have reached the peak.
"Our nation has attained the highest prevalence ever. Almost all zones have turned white which represents a disease burden above 50 persons per 100 000 cases.“
Masisi said the Botswana government is engaging directly with vaccine manufacturers to increase the chances of securing vaccines.
"In this regard, we have signed agreements with Moderna to secure 500 000 doses of their vaccines.
"We have another agreement with Bharat in India for the delivery of the Covaxin vaccine and for these we have reserved 100 000 doses, which will be paid once the vaccines are released in the coming weeks, between August and September 2021.
’’We have recently signed heads of terms with Pfizer for 2 million doses and hope to conclude the agreement soon."
In an attempt to cut the rapid spread of Covid-19, Masisi said for the next three weeks all public gatherings have been suspended.
Funerals must be conducted within a period of five days from the date of death and should continue to follow all established Covid-19 health protocols.
Interzonal movement continues to be restricted to essential travel only. The ban on the sale of alcohol remains and a curfew would now start earlier at 8 pm and end at 4 am.
African News Agency (ANA)