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12 May 2020 | 03:21 AM UTC

Botswana: Authorities declare Gaborone as “high risk” due to COVID-19 May 11 /update 7

Botswana News Alert

Botswana authorities declare capital Gaborone a “high-risk area” and advises public to limit movements due to COVID-19 May 11; follow government directives

TIMEFRAME expected from 5/11/2020, 12:00 AM until 5/31/2020, 11:59 PM (Africa/Gaborone). COUNTRY/REGION Botswana

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On Monday, May 11, Botswana authorities declared the capital Gaborone a "high-risk area" and advised the public to limit their movements with immediate effect. The measure were introduced after a truck driver, who entered Gaborone through the Tiokweng border on Sunday, May 9, was confirmed to be infected with the coronavirus disease (COVID-19). The issuance of pink permits for movement in and out of the capital has been suspended. Only individuals holding an essential services permit can travel into and out of Gaborone.

Nationwide lockdown measures were earlier eased on Friday, May 8. Businesses and schools may reopen but must adhere to government guidelines. The sale of alcohol and cigarettes will remain prohibited until further notice. Individuals are also permitted to travel to attend the funeral of an immediate family member or to access a farm, while nonessential travel remains banned. Additionally, the use of face masks in public is mandatory, and those who disobey the measures will be fined. Road transport services, including taxis, call cubs, and staff buses, can operate within 60 km (37 mi) of the place of operations, from May 8 to Thursday, May 21. President Mokgweetsi Masisi also announced that two weeks of 'sequentially easing' the restrictions would begin after the extended lockdown measures expire.

All international and domestic commercial flights are suspended indefinitely. The country's land borders have been closed since Tuesday, March 24, except for cargo. Any returning citizen or resident will be subjected to a 14-day quarantine period.

As of May 11, there are 24 confirmed COVID-19 cases and one related fatality nationwide. Further international spread of the virus is expected in the near term.


The first case of COVID-19 was reported on December 31 and the source of the outbreak has been linked to a wet market in Wuhan (Hubei province, China). Human-to-human and patient-to-medical staff transmission of the virus have been confirmed. Many of the associated fatalities have been due to pneumonia caused by the virus.

Cases of the virus have been confirmed in numerous countries and territories worldwide. Virus-screening and quarantining measures are being implemented at airports worldwide, as well as extensive travel restrictions. On March 11, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the global outbreak a pandemic.

Pneumonia symptoms include dry cough, chest pain, fever, and trouble breathing. Pneumonia can be contagious and can be transmitted from human to human. The influenza virus, or the flu, is a common cause of viral pneumonia.


Measures adopted by local authorities evolve quickly, and are usually effective immediately. Depending on the evolution of the outbreak in other countries, authorities are likely to modify, at very short notice, the list of countries whose travelers are subject to border control measures or entry restrictions upon their arrival to the territory in question. It is advised to postpone nonessential travel due to the risk that travelers may be refused entry or be subject to quarantine upon their arrival or during their stay.

To reduce the risk of transmission, travelers are advised to abide by the following measures:

  • Frequently clean hands by applying an alcohol-based hand rub or washing with soap and water.
  • When coughing and sneezing, cover mouth and nose with a flexed elbow or tissue; if used, throw the tissue away immediately and wash hands.
  • If experiencing a fever, cough, difficulty breathing, or any other symptoms suggestive of respiratory illness, including pneumonia, call emergency services before going to the doctor or hospital to prevent the potential spread of the disease.


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