Stigma blights Botswana’s fight against COVID-19 – Taskforce

APA-Gaborone (Botswana)

A presidential taskforce that is guiding Botswana on how to contain the spread of coronavirus warned Friday that the virus could spiral out of control due to social stigma.

Taskforce coordinator and Permanent Secretary in the Ministry for Presidential Affairs, Pearl Ramoroka appealed to Batswana to show compassion and avoid stigmatising those who have contracted the coronavirus.

"Stigmatisation and discrimination have the potential to discourage people infected with the coronavirus from providing identities of those they may have come into contact with, therefore denying the nation the opportunity to control and contain the spread of the virus," Ramoroka said.

She revealed that the government programme on contact testing commenced on 23 April and that the target was to educate communities against stigmatisation and discrimination.

Botswana has so far recorded 22 cases of the coronavirus and one death, but there are fears that local transmission is spiralling out of control.


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