WHO Regional Office for Africa / Press release | Coronavirus – Botswana: State of Public Emergency starts at midnight

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GABORONE, Botswana, April 3, 2020/APO Group/ —

After recording 4 cases of COVID-19 including 1 (one) death, His Excellency the President Dr Mokgweetsi E.K. Masisi declared a State of Public Emergency which curtails non-essential services and unnecessary movement. The State of Public Emergency starts at midnight on Thursday 2nd April 2020. His Excellency, the President, has also summoned an urgent sitting of parliament on COVID-19. The deliberations are expected to provide further guidance and necessary approvals for the far-reaching decisions and actions to mitigate the impact and protect the public.

All sectors in the government and private space are implementing complementary actions within their mandates in contribution to the national response. The technical leadership and implementation is with the Health Sector under the coordination of the Ministry of Health and Wellness while a presidential Task Force chaired by His Excellency the President coordinates the multi-sectoral contributions to the national response.

Essentially all air, rail and road travel to and from Botswana is closed until further notice. An exception has been made for a closely monitored flow of essential services and commodities between Botswana, South Africa and Zambia. For movement within the country, His Excellency the President announced extreme social distancing for an initial period of 28 days, essentially limiting movement to accessing essential services. The declaration consolidates social distancing and other preventive actions that were in force long before Botswana registered any cases. They were implemented as a response to COVID-19 in South Africa given the extensive social, trade and economic ties between the two countries.

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