• ECHO

Batswana Risk A ‘Return To Lockdown’



Health authorities in Botswana have warned the public to adhere to social distancing and other health protocols or risk returning to the extreme social distancing that was lifted on Thursday last week. The COVID19 Task Force team ended the 48-day lockdown or extreme social distancing period on Wednesday at midnight.

Botswana moved from the extended locked effected on April 2, allowing people to go back to work and opening up the economy, but with protocols that have to be followed to curb the spread of the novel corona virus. In the same week that the country recorded 5 new cases of imported covid-19 cases.

The Southern African nation has divided the country into 9 zones within which travel will not require permits. However, inter zonal travel will continue to require permits a s a way to monitor movement in an endeavor to control and contain the disease.

A day after the lifting some lockdown requirements that included use of permits to travel within zones, the coordinator of the Covid-19 Task Force Dr Kereng Masupu made a public statement warning that the country may go back into lockdown again if protocols are not adhered to.

This came after the Task Force team visited some parts of the country and found compliance by some members of the public to be wanting. Masupu said it was worrying that the use of masks as required by law was being disregarded, while social distancing is also ignored.

“If this kind of behavior persists, we will have no choice but to advise government to take the country into lock down again,” Masupu warned.

As the country entered a COVID19 lockdown free period of the 6 months state of emergency, government allowed businesses and schools to reopen under strict conditions in the final phase of the gradual re-opening of the economy.

Masupu announced earlier last week that as part of the containment strategy, the country has been divided into 9 COVID-19 zones to restrict the movement of people and allow swift responses in the event of an aggressive outbreak.

Dr Masupu however warned that the fight against the pandemic is still on and country could still reinstate lockdown measures should there be spike in new COVID-19 cases. Stringent conditions have been set for businesses and schools wishing to reopen such as body temperatures checks, regular disinfection of premises and the wearing of masks.

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