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Maun’s crippling COVID shortage

Maun's crippling COVID shortage
NATIONAL TASK-FORCE TEAM COORDINATOR: Dr. Kereng Masupu

*Currently, only one quarantine centre operational

*Has capacity for 20 patients

Following a surge of Covid-19 cases in Maun, with 168 active cases confirmed as of last Wednesday, the tourist town’s lack of quarantine centres has been thrown into sharp focus.

Currently, the town’s sole operational isolation center is at Botswana Open University (BOU), which can only hold 20 patients.

It means that 148 people infected with Coronavirus are having to self-isolate at home.

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The Presidential Covid-19 Task Force Coordinator, Dr. Kereng Masupu, confirmed the disturbing development during a support visit to Maun last week.

“Maun General Hospital, Botswana Wildlife Training Institute, Matshwane Clinic, and Botswana Open University were selected as isolation centers in Maun. The only one that is running is the Botswana Open University. Others are being renovated, and we came to witness the progress,” explained Masupu.

Divulging further depressing details, Dr. Masupu added, “The Maun General Hospital project, which has a bigger capacity, is experiencing a lot of vandalism and theft. Electrical cables are stolen and this delays the whole project. We need this center running before the situation gets out of control.”

The coordinator also admitted the Task Force is aware that many of those in self-isolation was not following the quarantine protocols properly.

“The people have been urged to stay home but most of them leave their houses before their mandatory 10 days quarantine elapses. They mix with other people hence increasing the risk of transmission. We are often called by neighbours tipping us off about those patients who fail to abide.”

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To date, the Northwest District has recorded a total of 317 cases and six deaths since the pandemic first hit back in March last year.

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