Botswana eases COVID-19 restriction measures

A teacher checks a student’s body temperature before she goes to class in Gaborone, capital of Botswana, June 2, 2020. / Xinhua / Tshekiso Tebalo

Botswana has relaxed some of the restriction measures put in place to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in the country.

This has been attributed to a drop in the number of active and daily COVID-19 cases in the country.

Botswana has also seen a significant decrease in hospital admissions with a 70% drop in the number of patients admitted to COVID-19 treatment facilities.

Botswana President Mokgweetsi Masisi (front) speaks at a reception. / VCG

In his national speech on COVID-19, President Mokgweetsi Masisi announced that the curfew will now be from 10 p.m. to 4 a.m.

President Masisi also said: All public gatherings, including weddings, will be re-established in accordance with COVID-19 health protocols.

The number of people at religious gatherings and services remains at a maximum of 50, and these gatherings and services are held twice a week.

Schools will be reopened as planned.

The ban on the sale of alcohol will be lifted and allowed to take out. However, inter-zonal travel remains limited to essential travel only.

The funeral will take place within 5 days of the date of death and should continue to follow all established COVID-19 protocols.

The president also announced that the government will not extend the state of public emergency when it expires at the end of September 30.

Masisi warned, however, that even if they ease the restrictions, people should be aware of the recent detection of the new C.1.2 COVID-19 variant in the country.

“This new, highly mutated variant could lead to a resurgence of new infections that could potentially usher in the fourth wave.” said the president.

He also announced that the total number of vaccines expected in September, as well as those received so far in the country, will mean that by the end of October 2021, 975,782 Botswana will be fully vaccinated, or 64% of the goal. population being fully vaccinated.

“1,009,974 doses, including Sinovac, AstraZeneca, Johnson & Johnson and Moderna, are expected to be delivered during September. That number includes the 404,494 doses of Sinovac due to arrive this Sunday.

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