Botswana extends state of public emergency to fight COVID-19

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Pedestrians walk through the central business district of Gaborone, Botswana, on Monday, May 14, 2018. Photographer: Waldo Swiegers/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Botswana parliament on Wednesday passed a motion to extend the country’s state of public emergency by another six months to curb the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Botswana’s President Mokgweetsi Masisi attended a parliament sitting to seek a resolution for a second extension of the state of public emergency due to the pandemic.

Addressing the meeting, Masisi said since the outbreak of the pandemic, the country has continued to experience serious challenges, which require a collective effort as a nation to overcome.

“The rapid increase of cases across the country, particularly in Gaborone, Palapye, and Francistown, has stretched our human and financial resources beyond expectations,” Masisi said.

Furthermore, the government on Tuesday started to restrict movements of people between zones to curb the spread of the pandemic in the coming Easter Holidays.

The state of public emergency was initially declared in Botswana on April 2, 2020, and was further extended by another six months in September 2020.

The country has so far registered 40,878 cases and 591 deaths from the virus.

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