Botswana lifts lockdown on capital city

APA-Gaborone (Botswana)

Botswana on Tuesday lifted a lockdown imposed on the capital Gaborone last week after 16 people were suspected to have contracted the deadly coronavirus.

Health services director Malaki Tshipayagae said the lifting came after 10 of the suspected cases tested negative while the other six are waiting their results after retesting.

The lifting of the lockdown on the Greater Gaborone area was announced by President Mokgweetsi Masisi in an Extraordinary Government Gazette on Monday, in which he revealed that the restrictions that had applied since last week would be removed from midnight on June 15.

“The lifting of the lockdown is based on evidence submitted by the Director of Health Services that the risks posed by COVID-19 for the Greater Gaborone zone have decreased,” Masisi said.

He however urged Batswana to avoid “non-essential travel between COVID zones unless they have been issued with a permit” allowing such travel and to exercise hygiene and observe strict social distance regulations.

Travel between COVID-19 zones would be permitted only for purposes of going to farms or for funerals, according to the regulations gazetted on Monday.

Businesses, schools and place of worship may operate where they have satisfied the director of health services of their “ability to prevent the spread of COVID-19”.

Botswana is one of the countries with few cases of coronavirus. As of Tuesday, the country had recorded only 60 cases and one death.


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