Botswana closes schools as COVID-19 cases rise
Botswana President Mokgweetsi Masisi announced on Tuesday that his government has made the decision to close schools from this Friday until August 16 as the country faces its deadliest wave of COVID-19.
Masisi made the announcement in a scheduled nationwide address that was broadcast live on the state television channel. He said the country was in dire straits of rapidly increasing cases and inadequate vaccines.
As of Monday, the country had recorded a total of 80,153 confirmed cases and 1,253 deaths. Active cases reached a record high of 8,970 with an average of more than 1,000 daily cases in the past three days.
Masisi said his government would prioritize vaccinating teachers during school closures, as the virus has been found to be widespread in schools. Stakeholders have called for schools to be closed following the deaths of at least 64 teachers at the end of last week.
Like many African countries, Botswana faced the challenge of a vaccine shortage. Although the uncertain availability of vaccines makes it difficult for the country’s vaccine deployment plan to go smoothly, the government remains hopeful that all eligible people will be vaccinated by the end of 2022, Masisi said.
Meanwhile, the president also told the nation that COVID-19 has severely affected the country’s economy and that there is no sign of a rapid recovery. He called on everyone to remain vigilant on the situation and to do their best to contain the spread of the virus – AFRIQUE CGTN