Deputy Coordinator of the Presidential task force, Professor Mosepele Mosepele says while local Covid-19 transmissions are at an impressive low, Botswana’s threat to the spread of the disease is importation through neighboring countries.
As of Thursday morning, government continued its gradual easing of lockdown restrictions with the introduction of free movement within zones.
Fresh statistics now indicate there are six new cases of cross-border essential services, bringing transmission statistics to 29 reported positive cases, with one death, 14 826 negative results and 19 recovery cases.
When making the announcement on Wednesday Mosepele said: “We are now dealing with the threat of regional importation of the disease. When lockdown started we had 11 international cases which resulted in 12 local transmissions. Because of movement restrictions there was a time where we went for about a week without any new cases. At the time we only opened our borders for those transporting goods and other essential services. As of yesterday (Tuesday) we have six new cases from the neighboring countries,” Mosepele said.
Explaining the way forward, Mosepele noted that Botswana has now been divided into COVID-19 zones which would assist with contact tracing.
“We now have what we call surveillance plan. With the plan we have created COVID-19 zones which will create cohorts. This will assist us with containing the virus to a particular area,” Mosepele stated.
The task force also announced free movements within zones. “We will also have surveillance sentinel sites where testing will be done. We have increased testing areas which allow us to test 4-5 people per day.”
“We now have testing places in Gantsi/Mamuno border, Kasane and Francistown,” Mosepele explained.