Botswana: President Masisi quarantined after Namibia visit

APA-Gaborone (Botswana)

Botswana’s President Mokgweetsi Masisi went into self-quarantine on Sunday, a day after he attended the inauguration of President Hage Geingob of neighbouring Namibia.

In a statement, the Botswana government said the director of health services had placed Masisi "on self-isolation for a period of 14 days starting March 21 following his trip to the Republic of Namibia”.

“During the time of self-isolation, His Excellency will be tested for SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) prior to being cleared,” the statement said.

It said Masisi would be “working from his official residence but quarantined away from his family.”

“The Director of Health Services has extended the same impositions to the rest of the entourage that travelled with His Excellency the President to Namibia.”

Masisi was one of three southern African heads of state who graced the inauguration of Geingob on Saturday. Others were Angola’s President João Lourenço and President Emmerson Mnangagwa of Zimbabwe.

Namibia has registered three cases of coronavirus, the virus that causes COVID-19 disease.

Botswana is one of the few African countries that has not yet reported a single coronavirus case.

The self-isolation by Masisi comes in the wake of an outcry by the Botswana Nurses Union on Sunday that the president’s decision to travel to Namibia was ill-informed and endangered the lives of Batswana.

The union called on Masisi to self-isolate for the mandatory 14 year in case he got infected during the Namibia visit.


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