Botswana suspends inter-zonal movements amid COVID-19 outbreak

Botswana President Mokgweetsi Masisi (front) speaks at a reception. / VCG

The government of Botswana has announced a suspension of inter-zonal movements as the South African nation grapples with the latest wave of COVID-19 infections and deaths.

In a notice signed by President Mokgweetsi Masisi, the government said the ordinance came into effect immediately and listed who could apply for waivers.

FILE PHOTO: Botswana President Mokgweetsi Masisi (front) speaks at a past reception. / VCG

Providers of essential services and people with medical emergencies and those accompanying / assisting them may apply for exemptions. In addition, those attending the funeral of an immediate family member and those wishing to access a farm, ranch, garden, plowfield or ranching station will also be eligible to apply.

The notice added that a person who had traveled through COVID-19 zones with a valid traffic permit before the notice was posted can return before the traffic permit expires.

Earlier this week, Masisi announced his decision to close schools for a month on Friday until August 17 as the country grapples with its deadliest wave of COVID-19.

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, according to Masisi.

Botswana has reported more than 86,000 confirmed cases and more than 1,200 deaths.

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