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Botswana ministry temporarily closed over virus exposure

Botswana ministry temporarily closed over virus exposure


Botswana remains one of Africa’s least impacted countries, one of a handful with less than 100 cases of COVID-19. Government has in the past month taken drastic measures including a strict lockdown.

President Eric Masisi tested negative for the third time on June 1. The wholes parliament was quarantined at a point when a health worker tested positive there.

As part of containment measures, wearing of home-made masks have been made obligatory in public. Data collection has also been a key plank of the response as part of contact tracing efforts.

Some schools have reopened along with the trend across parts of Africa. Strict health protocols are to be observed as kids return for lessons. This article concentrates on major updates from the country in its fight against the coronavirus pandemic.

July 3: Foreign Affairs Ministry shut

The Ministry of International Affairs and Cooperation has been shut “due to COVID-19 exposure,” government confirmed on Friday.

“… in line with the precautionary protocol measures the Ministry Headquarters will provide its services remotely until further notice.

“The Ministry Headquarters in Gaborone will be closed to the public and visitors,” an official statement added.

Total confirmed cases = 227
Total recoveries = 28
Total deaths = 1
Active cases = 198

Figures valid as of close of day July 2, 2020

July 2: President in quarantine – again

President Masisi is in quarantine following the discovery of a positive case on one of the officers “closely serving” him. It will be the fourth time the president is quarantining.

A statement from his office confirming the incident read in part: “The Office of the President regrets to inform that due to the discovery of a positive Covid-19 test result last night on one of the officials closely serving His Excellency the President Dr Mokgweetsi Eric Keabetswe Masisi.

“… the usual Covid-19 precautionary protocols have been activated, resulting in the immediate self-quarantine of His Excellency the President and some of his inner circle of officials. Contact Tracing is continuing and further updates will be made in the course of time,” it added.

  • First quarantine after trip to Namibia for inauguration ceremony
  • Second quarantine, after exposure to infected person during parliamentary session
  • Third quarantine, after trip to Zimbabwe for SADC meeting

June 23: Mandatory testing of cross border travellers

The presidential task force for COVID-19 reported on Monday that it had recorded success in mandatory testing of cross border travellers, after one such traveler tested positive.

The said traveler – an undocumented migrant, who came into contact with about 15 security officers in Gaborone and other primary contacts is currently receiving treatment. She was reported to authorities by residents of a compound where she stayed.

“The 15 security officers and others who were primary contacts are currently awaiting their results. Pending the outcome of the test results, primary contacts of the security officers and other primary contacts such as their family members, are currently treated as casual contacts,” a June 22 statement from the task force read.

Total confirmed cases = 89
Total recoveries = 25
Total deaths = 1
Active cases = 63

Figures valid as of close of day June 22, 2020


“Despite these difficult circumstances learning has got to continue, achievement has to be attained and performance realised.” pic.twitter.com/YtHNln9nG8

— Botswana Government (@BWGovernment) June 22, 2020

June 16: Gaborone lockdown lifted

The lockdown imposed on Greater Gaborone has been lifted authorities announced on Monday, the measure was imposed last Friday.

The lifting follows re-testing of 16 suspected cases, which returned 10 negative results. The remaining six cases are awaiting confirmatory results, according director of health services Malaki Tshipayagae.

The southern Africa country exited an extreme lockdown on 21 May, the country was subsequently zoned with strict regulations on movement. Government has made contact keeping a core part of reopening the economy.

With the lifting of the Gaborone lockdown, public schools are also set to reopen with the first batch (completing students) returning tomorrow whiles the latest returnees will be back in August (pre-primary children), a basic education ministry statement confirmed today.

In between the two batches, non-completing students will return on Monday June 22. The statement said private schools are to make their own reopening decisions.



— Botswana Government (@BWGovernment) June 16, 2020

Total confirmed cases = 60
Total recoveries = 24
Total deaths = 1
Active cases = 35

Figures valid as of close of day June 15, 2020

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June 12: Gaborone hospital, bank closed over exposure

A bank and hospital in the capital Gaborone have been temporarily closed over what government says is possible COVID-19 exposure.

A statement signed by coordinator of the presidential task force, Kereng Masupu said the Gaborone Private Hospital and Stanbic Bank branch at Fairgrounds were to remain shut till further notice.

It added that “all staff, patients and visitors of these facilities between 8th June and 12th June, should immediately self-quarantine for 14 days” and call a toll free number in case they needed any assistance.

“While further investigations are ongoing, the Contact Tracing Team will also communicate with those who have visited the hospital and bank, and are deemed to require further medical attention,” it added.

  • Confirmed cases = 48
  • Number of deaths = 1
  • Recoveries = 24
  • Active cases = 23

John Hopkins Uni stats valid as of June 12, 2020

CLOSURE OF POSSIBLE COVID-19 EXPOSED FACILITIES#LetsDefeatCOVID19Together #AReFenyengCOVID19Mmogo pic.twitter.com/LPTRt6VxtU

— Botswana Government (@BWGovernment) June 12, 2020

June 7: Days of prayer ends today

President Eric Masisi’s call for national prayers in efforts against COVID-19 ends today. He asked the populace to dedicate Friday (June 5) till today (June 7) as days of prayer. Countries that have also gone this path include Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania.

He, however, stresses the need to wear masks and to observe all necessary health protocols as a means of virus spread prevention. “We are not out of woods yet. Remember to wear your masks in public and follow all the health protocols,” he said via social media.

The University of Botswana has also intensified online learning according to a bulletin by the Presidential Task Force. Whiles new regulations have been issued on the road transport permits under the Emergency COVID-19 regulations.

Total confirmed cases = 40
Total recoveries = 23
Total deaths = 1
Active cases = 16

Figures valid as of close of day June 6, 2020


— Office of the President, Republic of Botswana. (@BWPresidency) June 6, 2020

June 1: President tests negative – again

The government this morning announced that President Eric Masisi was due to be released from home quarantine after testing negative for COVID-19.

“His Excellency went into quarantine following his one day trip to Harare, Zimbabwe on the 19th of May to attend the SADC Extra Ordinary Summit on Politics, Defence and Security,” a statement signed by his press secretary read in part.

This becomes the third time the president has been tested for the virus. First was after he made a trip to Namibia for the investiture of Hage Geingob. The second was last month when a health worker at parliament tested positive during a session he was in attendance.

All lawmakers and persons present were ordered to self quarantine at the time. A number of MPs who flouted the rule were subsequently forced into institutional quarantine.

Lockdown measures were eased last month whiles government also zoned the country as part of virus spread containment measures. Strict health protocols and data entries have been legislated for public offices and private businesses. School also reopen this week with similar measures.

Botswana president tests negative – again ?????
- His third quarantine, after SADC trip to Zimbabwe
- Previously quarantined after trip to Namibia, after parliament recorded incident
- #COVID19 stats: 35 cases, 1 death, 20 recoveries, 14 active cases https://t.co/4FHubbEUWy

— Abdur Rahman Alfa Shaban ? #StayHome (@AlfaAfrican) June 1, 2020

Major incidents covered previously:

June 1: President tests negative – again
May 31: Tourism top on president’s agenda as reopening continues
May 25: govt prioritize data amid stay away campaign
May 20: Extreme social distancing ends, country zoned
May 19: president in Harare for SADC meeting
May 13: More recoveries, ex-prez leads local donors
May 11: capital Gaborone declared high-risk area, ‘quarantined’
May 10: Regulations on resumption of road transport
May 8: Steve Harvey’s donation arrives, relaxed lockdown starts
May 6: Phased lifting of lockdown starting May 8
May 1: Face masks compulsory in public, shared spaces
April 23: All MPs released from quarantine after tests
April 14: Cabinet donates 10% of salaries towards COVID-19 relief fund
April 10: stubborn MPs moved into govt supervised quarantine
April 9: Tally rises to 13, all MPs placed under quarantine
April 1: Botswana president tests negative
March 22: President in coronavirus self-isolation after Namibia trip

May 31: Tourism top on president’s agenda as reopening continues

Government has prioritized reviving the country’s tourism sector as the gradual reopening of the economy continues after a virus lockdown.

The office of the president said in a social media post: “In order to revive Botswana’s tourism sector Government shall accelerate the initiatives aimed at stimulating local and regional tourism by creating an enabling environment for increased investment in the tourism sector and facilitate in particular citizen participation.”

The statement said the areas of agro tourism and land tourism will also be identified and made available for citizens. The reopening of the country continues with return to school on June 1. But parents are urged to stick to strict guidelines for children returning to school.

Full address – Presidential update on government response to coronavirus pandemic

Total confirmed cases = 35
Total recoveries = 20
Total deaths = 1
Active cases = 14

Figures valid as of close of day May 31, 2020

May 25: govt prioritize data amid stay away campaign

The Botswana government is emphasizing data collection at public and private business places as a key plank in the fight against the pandemic.

An advisory posted on Twitter over the weekend reminded outfits of their data collection responsibilities. Titled “Advisory on registration details required across all business sector entry points,” it said all organizations must: “… ensure and safeguard personal visitors / customers information in COVID-19 registers for purpose of contact tracing.”

The require entries are: Full name, contact details, date of their visit, temperature readings. Only an authorized official is supposed to make entries and anyone found in unlawful possession of the register risks a fine (5,000 Pula), a jail term (12 months) – or both.

The government is also ramping up its campaign asking citizens to stay home as much as possible. It advised people who could to stay, work and create from home, another advisory read: It it is not essential, avoid it.

Total confirmed cases = 35 (new cases = 5)
Total recoveries = 19
Total deaths = 1
Active cases = 15

Figures valid as of close of day May 24, 2020


WORK FROM HOME IF YOU CAN\#LetsDefeatCOVID19Together #AReFeyengCOVID19Mmogo ?? pic.twitter.com/W14cPHMidS

— Botswana Government (@BWGovernment) May 24, 2020

May 20: Extreme social distancing ends, country zoned

Government announced an end to extreme social distancing on Wednesday signaling the end of Three Phases of lockdown. A zoning strategy has been announced to help curb virus spread. The current case count is 29.

“A part of the containment strategy, the country has been divided into Zomes to restrict movement of people; allow swift responses in the event of an aggressive outbreak,” a statement posted on social media.

There are nine COVID-19 zones as follows: Boteti, Chobe, Ghanzi, Greater Francistown, Greater Gaborone, Greater Palapye, Greater Phikwe, Maun and Kgalagadi zones. Thirteen check points have also been designated across the country.

Issuing clarity on the issue of alcohol sale, the Ministry of Investment, Trade and Industry issues a statement that said it remained banned till further notice.

The statement said relevant laws are “subject to the ongoing State of Emergency, therefore, the Emergency Powers Regulations regulating the prohibition of the sale of alcohol still apply. Hence, there shall be no sale of alcohol in all liquor outlets until further notice.”

May 19: president in Harare for SADC meeting

President Eric Masisi left Gaborone on Tuesday for Harare where he is attending a meeting of the Southern African Development Community, SADC.

His spokesperson confirmed that extraordinary circumstances had forced him to travel as the incoming chairperson of SADC’s political, defense and security cooperation arm.

“IT, security and defense experts have advised the president that meeting should be face to face in light of sensitivity of issues discussed,” Bathelefi Leagang said.

The president and his entourage return later today and shall be subjected to 14-day quarantine. It will be his third consecutive quarantine.

The first after he attended investiture in Namibia in March and later in April after a healthworker in parliament tested positive on a day he was in attendance.


President Dr Mokgweetsi Masisi will today attend the Extraordinary Summit of Heads of State and Government of the SADC Organ on Politics, Defence, and Security Cooperation (Organ) Troika in Harare, Zimbabwe in his capacity as the incoming Chair. pic.twitter.com/9csRGbWMfX

— Botswana Government (@BWGovernment) May 19, 2020

May 13: More recoveries, ex-prez leads local donors

Botswana currently has twenty-four confirmed cases of which there are six active cases with seventeen recoveries (five news) and one death.

Support for government’s efforts to combat the virus has also seen a surge in financial donations into the COVID-19 fund. Ex-President Festus Mogae and his wife were among the latest donors.

Former President Mogae and Barbra Mogae, this morning donated P100 000 to the covid-19 relief fund. The Vice President received donations worth over P964 000, from different organizations and individuals to help government combat Covid-19, government confirmed on May 12.

“The money donated will be used to buy medical equipment that will be used to fight Covid-19,” the veep added. Other contributors included:

  • Ghana Community in Botswana = P100 000
  • Botswana Tribal Association = P10 000
  • Botswana Democratic Party Women’s Wing = P153 000
  • Mazars Audit firm = P201 000
  • Former MPs Association = P30 000
  • Awil College = P20 000 and television content worth P1.6 million,
  • Kerala Semajam Botswana = P250 000
  • Old Apostolic Church who donated Personal Protective Equipment worth = P100 220

May 11: capital Gaborone declared high-risk area, ‘quarantined’

Government on Monday declared the capital Gaborone a “high-risk area” and advised residents to limit their movements from henceforth. It also suspended the pink permits which allowed for movement into and outside of the capital.

A statement issued by Dr. Kereng Masupu, coordinator of the presidential task force on COVID-19 read: “Following the confirmed COVID-19 case of a truck driver who came into Gaborone through the Tiokweng border on Sunday 09 May 2020…

“… the COVID-19 Presidential Task Force would like to advise the public that only those who have been issued Pink Permits for travel into and out of Gaborone are suspended with immediate effect until further notice.

“This therefore declares Gaborone a high-risk area and members of the public are strongly advised to limit their movements.”

The statement further disclosed that efforts were underway with respect to contact tracing along the route that the infected driver travelled. The patient is on admission at the Sir Ketumile Masire Hospital.

“Those holding Essential Service permit will be allowed to travel into and outside of Gaborone except for those holding the pink Permit,” the statement further clarified.

PINK PERMITS SUSPENDED #LetsDefeatCOVID19Together#AReFenyengCOVID19Mmogo ?? pic.twitter.com/3kV4TUn5J2

— Botswana Government (@BWGovernment) May 11, 2020

May 10: Regulations on resumption of road transport

Road transport is returning across the country in the wake of eased lockdown measures. President Masisi in exercising his emergency powers authorized the lifting of transport restrictions from May 8 to 21st.

A gazette of the new regulations issued by government indicated that road transport was the sole beneficiary of the order as rail and air transport remained banned.

Road transport services – not limited to taxis, call cubs and staff buses – shall operate from 8th to 21st May, 2020 within a 60 kilometre radius of the place of operation.

Some conditions that accompany especially the public means of transport include: abiding with Covid-19 protocols, public transport associations to certify readiness of vehicles to operate as per the Covid-19 protocols and the cleaning of vehicles 2 – 3 times daily.

Drivers are to also enforce adherence of passengers to using face masks. Loading capacity of different vehicles have also been reduced. Mini buses shall carry 70 percent of seating capacity with social distancing, hence a 16-seater bus will carry a maximum of 10 passengers.

As of May 10, there are currently 23 cases with 12 recoveries, 10 active cases and one death. There has not been an increase in confirmed cases for weeks now.

UPDATE ON EASING OF EXTREME SOCIAL DISTANCING#EasingExtremeSocialDistancingBW #StayHomeSaveLives #covid19 pic.twitter.com/osG8qnWjdX

— Botswana Government (@BWGovernment) May 10, 2020

May 8: Steve Harvey’s donation arrives, relaxed lockdown starts

Botswana is one of few African countries that have not recorded increase in cases for over a week. A phased return to work measure starts today with a series of strict guidelines among which are:

  • Maintaining a register of employees, visitors, customers etc. that interact with a facility
  • Observance of social distancing of 1 – 2 metres apart
  • Provision of sanitizers and means of washing hands at premises
  • Wearing of face masks (home-made)
  • Deny entry to persons who fail to abide by guidelines

President Eric Masisi was personally at the airport in Gaborone to receive a donation from American TV star Steve Harvey. The 7.2 metric tonnes of medical equipment arrived on Wednesday. It comprised of personal protective equipment which will be used by frontline staff dealing with the pandemic.

The president said the consignment had been “donated by our friends, Steve Harvey “Mothusi” and his lovely wife Marjorie Lesedi Harvey.” The couple are good friends of the country having paid a recent visit to the southern African country.

with COVID-19.

I would also like to convey our gratitude to the UAEmGov (United Arab Emirates(UAE) government for responding graciously to the plea made by these friends of Botswana, Steve & Marjorie. pic.twitter.com/Cwhbb1mZ5N

— Dr. Mokgweetsi E.K Masisi (OfficialMasisi) May 7, 2020

May 6: Phased lifting of lockdown starting May 8

Botswana will start a phased lifting of its lockdown staring May 8, vice president Slumber Tsogwane affirmed on Wednesday. President Masisi, himself a lawmaker, was present at the sitting.

Lawmakers returned to the chamber to discuss issues relating to emergency powers that allowed the president to impose measures aimed at controlling the spread of COVID-19.

Presenting the motion before Parliament, the leader of the House and Vice President, Mr Slumber Tsogwane, said the purpose of the Regulations is to regulate the period during which the state of public emergency exists.

“Based on our response to date and the current trajectory of the disease, we have decided to open our economy albeit incrementally, while observing the disease patterns,” he said.

There was strict virus prevention measures in and around the parliament. All present were masked whiles sanitizers were administered to all entrants into the building.

MOTHUSI DONATES TO BOTSWANA #LetsDefeatCOVID19Together#AReFenyengCOVID19Mmogo ?? pic.twitter.com/bbdQK4BFDO

— Botswana Government (@BWGovernment) May 4, 2020

May 1: Face masks compulsory in public, shared spaces

The Government of Botswana has issued legislation that makes it compulsory to wear masks/face coverings in public places, businesses and common areas of residential buildings from 1 May 2020.

Specifications have been issued in an official media release stating that medical and non-medical masks needed to be worn by members of the public. Whiles the medical versions are to be used by persons working in high risk areas, others have to wear the non-medical type.

“Cloth face mask or home-made item that covers the nose and mouth or another appropriate item that covers the nose and mouth when in a public place,” the release said of the non-medical masks.

The government urged the public to stick to non-medical masks in order to free scarce medical masks for health workers. Vendors are to sell medical masks to only persons in the medical profession, health workers, persons handling clinical waste or involved in COVID-19 related activities.

The government cautioned that the use of the masks whiles helping to decrease the probability of contracting the virus also need be observed along with “specified personal hygiene practicing and social distancing.”

Botswana case file as of today: 23 confirmed cases, five recoveries and one death.

2. Non-Medical – cloth face mask or home-made item that covers the nose and mouth or another appropriate item that covers the nose and mouth when in a public place.

— Botswana Government (@BWGovernment) May 1, 2020

April 23: All MPs released from quarantine after tests

Botswana’s president and vice president have been released from home quarantine after testing negative for COVID-19.

The presidency in a statement today said: “Director of Health Services has released His Excellency, Dr Mokgweetsi Eric Keabetswe Masisi, President of the Republic … and …Vice President Slumber Tsogwane from home quarantine today, 23rd April 2020.

“This follows the release of their COVID 19 test results which came out negative yesterday,” the statement by presidential spokesperson Batlhalefi Leagajang said.

“All members of parliament have tested negative for COVID-19 and they are being released from quarantine,” Kereng Masupu, coordinator of the COVID-19 Presidential Task Force, told a news briefing.

On April 9, all members of the legislature were admitted to home quarantine after a nurse on duty at the parliament tested positive for the virus. The president and vice are also MPs and were present at the said date.

A day after the order, some unnamed MPs were arrested and put in institutional quarantine for breaching self quarantine rules. They were pictured in shopping malls at a time they were meant to be in quarantine.

Botswana, currently under a state of emergency and lockdown has 22 confirmed cases to date (April 23), one death has been recorded with zero recoveries. The overall test tally stands at 5,023 people. Two senior health officials were fired by the president on Wednesday for undisclosed reasons.

April 14: Cabinet donates 10% of salaries towards COVID-19 relief fund

Cabinet members in Botswana have agreed to donate 10% of their salaries towards the country’s COVID-19 relief fund, government announced on Tuesday.

According to Vice President Slumber Tsogwane, members have pledged 10% of their salaries to the relief fund for a period of six months. The deductions will total P167,407.20 every month. The amount comes up to about $14,000 per month and $84,000 over the six-month period.

Speaking on state broadcaster, BTV, Tuesday evening VP Tsogwane said, the President , himself as Vice President, Ministers and Assistant Ministers have all written letters and authorized deduction of 10% of their salaries to help the nation in the fight against COVID-19.

He also thanked Batswana and the private sector for their continued contribution to the fund and urged others to bring their pledges, monetary or otherwise. The country is under a lockdown occasioned by a state of emergency imposed to curb spread of the virus.


— Botswana Government (@BWGovernment) April 13, 2020

April 10: stubborn MPs moved into govt supervised quarantine

Barely 24 hours after government announced that all lawmakers were supposed to observe a period of quarantine for COVID-19, the Director of Health Services at the Ministry of Health and Wellness, says a number of MPs are to be put under government supervised quarantine.

Dr Malaki Tshipayagae said the MPs in question had breached home quarantine after a number of them were seen shopping in supermarkets. He did not specify how many of the 65 members were affected by the new measures. The MPs are said to have been exposed to a health worker who was in attendance during a recent session.

A government statement read in part: “It has since come to my attention that some Members of Parliament have breached their quarantine rules by going to supermarkets thus spreading the risk.

“This is regrettable and the public is informed that the MPs have been removed from home quarantine and will be quarantined under government supervised quarantine.

“His Excellency the President, Members of Parliament, Senior Government Officials and members of the media who attended are urged to follow home quarantine rules and not risk the spread of the disease to members of their families and the public at large.”

The country is under lockdown after the President declared a state of emergency to curb spread of the virus. As of April 10, Botswana had recorded 13 cases with one death.

Major African stats as of April 10:- Confirmed cases = 12,369

  • Number of deaths = 632
  • Recoveries = 1,632
  • Infected countries = 52
  • Virus-free countries = 2 (Lesotho, Comoros)

Figures sourced from John Hopkins University tracking site

April 9: Tally rises to 13, all MPs placed under quarantine

All sixty-nine lawmakers in Botswana have been placed under compulsory quarantine by the Director of Health Services Dr Malaki Tshipayagae. The parliament referred to as the National Assembly comprises 65 members of Parliament including the president and speaker.

The move follows a report given to the Minister of Health on Thursday confirming that seven new cases had been recorded in the southern African country bringing the national tally to thirteen.

“Amongst the cases is a healthworker who was on duty at yesterday’s Parliament session. Health professionals are currently advising Parliament on how they are to proceed considering that some of the members interacted with the health worker,” a government statement added.

President Masisi was in early April released from self quarantine after he travelled to Namibia for the swearing in of his counterpart Hage Geingob. At the time Namibia had recorded cases and Botswana had yet to record a case. The president’s test result returned negative allowing him to resume duties at his office.

The country is currently under a state of emergency with a raft of measures being enforced to curb the spread and increase containment efforts of the virus. Of the now thirteen cases on record, one death has been recorded.

President Masisi at an extraordinary meeting of parliament today stressed the importance of the emergency laws in a time as this. He assured MPs that no aspect of the laws would be abused.

“I, Mokgweetsi Masisi did not seek the Presidency of this country for reasons of ruling by decree; I did not campaign for election as President of this celebrated democracy for me to erode civil liberties upon coming into office;

“It is in this spirit that I pledge, and So Help Me God, that I intend using the declaration of the State of Emergency, solely for the purpose of protecting our people against the decimating potentials of the Novel COVID-19 virus,” he told lawmakers.

April 1: Botswana president tests negative

Botswana president Eric Masisi has tested negative for COVID-19 and has subsequently been released from home quarantine, “with immediate effect,” to resume duties at his office.

“This follows the release of his Covid-19 test results yesterday which came out negative,” a statement from the office of the president said. The April 1 statement was signed by his pres secretary Batlhaleft Leagajang.

The president entered self-isolation on March 22 after returning from Namibia where he attended the swearing-in ceremony of President Hage Geingob. At the time Namibia had three confirmed cases whiles Botswana had none.

The country has now registered four coronavirus cases, the index cases on March 30 whiles the first death was also recorded a day later. President Masisi in an address imposed 28-day strict lockdown to contain the spread of the virus.

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TOGETHER WE CAN CONTAIN COVID-19#coronavirusBW #covid19BW #coronavirus #covid19 pic.twitter.com/VThEtWVWfA

— Botswana Government (@BWGovernment) April 1, 2020

March 22: President in coronavirus self-isolation after Namibia trip

Botswana president Eric Mokgweetsi Masisi is in self-isolation for a fourteen day period, the government through the office of president confirmed late Sunday.

The decision to self-isolate comes after he returned home from an official trip to neighbouring Namibia. He attended the swearing in ceremony of President Hage Geingob in Windhoek.

“The rationale for the imposition of self-isolation is that while Namibia has registered three (3) imported cases, and is considered low risk for SARS-Cv-2 transmission at the the time of His Excellency the President’s trip to Namibia, the low testing rates in the Region makes that determination difficult and there is a high possibility of undetermined local transmission,” the statement read.

The statement added that during the period, the president will be tested for coronavirus, “as such, (the president) will be working from his official residence but quarantined away from his family.” Other members of his entourage have been advised to do same.

The statement signed by a permanent secretary on government communications also said Masisi during his time in Namibia held talks with his peers on urgent border issues in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Other African leaders who attended the inauguration include Zimbabwe’s Emmerson Mnangagwa and Joao Lourenco of Angola.

Botswana is one of four countries in the region that has not registered a case of coronavirus as yet. Others include Comoros, Malawi and Lesotho. So far 43 African countries have recorded cases with over 30 deaths and 122 recoveries.

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