News Alerts

16 Jun 2020 | 04:22 AM UTC

Botswana: Authorities lift lockdown in Greater Gaborone COVID-19 Zone June 15 /update 10

Botswana News Alert

The Government of Botswana lifts lockdown in the Greater Gaborone COVID-19 Zone on June 15; follow government directives

TIMEFRAME expected from 6/16/2020, 12:00 AM until 6/30/2020, 11:59 PM (Africa/Gaborone). COUNTRY/REGION Botswana, Gaborone

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Event

On Monday, June 15, the Government of Botswana lifted a recently reinstated coronavirus disease (COVID-19) lockdown on its capital city Gaborone, after most of the newly reported cases over the past week turned out to be negative. On May 20, Botswana was divided into nine coronavirus zones: Boteti, Chobe, Ghanzi, Greater Francistown, Greater Gaborone, Greater Palapye, Greater Phikwe, Maun, and Kgalagadi. Authorities also erected 13 checkpoints across the country. Individuals are permitted to travel within the zones without travel permits; however, travel between zones requires a travel permit.

All international and domestic commercial flights remain suspended indefinitely. Medical evacuation flights remain possible. Authorities have also closed all land border posts with neighboring countries since March 24, except for freight traffic. All returning residents or citizens will be subject to a 14-day mandatory quarantine period in government facilities.

Authorities declared a State of Public Emergency on March 31, which has been extended to six months. A nationwide lockdown was lifted on May 22, allowing schools and businesses to reopen as long as they adhered to the government's stringent conditions, including body temperature checks, regular disinfection, and the wearing of face masks.

As of June 15, there have been 48 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Botswana and one associated fatality. Further international spread of the virus is expected in the near term. 

Context

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.

Advice

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 your 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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