Gaborone — Government has taken a decision to impose a curfew from 7pm to 4am from December 24 to January 3.
Giving an update on the status of the COVID-19 Pandemic, President Dr Mokgweetsi Masisi indicated that the imposed curfew was solely on the basis of protecting the nation from the impending catastrophe, thus there would be no movement on the said times.
President Masisi highlighted that the year 2020 had been a difficult one; hence the importance to reflect on the process made in the fight against coronavirus as a nation.
He said COVID-19 had disrupted the livelihoods of many and affected the country’s health system and economy, thus pressurising government to undertake measures such as lockdowns and restrictions on international travel to control the virus.
Dr Masisi noted that since the outbreak of the disease in Botswana in March 2020, over 513 000 people were tested , with 11 982 testing positive, while 11 147 having been recovered and 797 still active and only 38 mortality recorded .
To control the disease, Dr Masisi noted that government established the Presidential Task Team to guide the interventions in the fight against the spread of the virus.
He was a COVID-19 relief fund was also established, with a seed of P2 billion to which individuals and the private sector also contributed.
President Masisi also made mention of the establishment of the response plan, which helped government to expand testing facilities capacity and further establish contact tracing mechanism.
He further indicated that government also introduced the State of Public Emergency, which included mandatory wearing of masks in public, extreme social distancing, restriction of public travel and closure of some businesses that were considered non-essential.
The decline in the domestic economy, President Masisi said had considerably altered government’s ability to raise revenues due to the decline in diamonds sales and tourism.
Dr Masisi further indicated Botswana had signed up for the global collaboration, which would enable the country to have access to the vaccines.
He however stated that the authorisation of and use of COVID-19 vaccines in some countries was a welcome development adding the country would not celebrate until it had access to the vaccine.
Dr Masisi cautioned of a new and more aggressive variants of COVID-19, which had been detected in some countries including the SADC region, therefore called for more vigilance.
He said the current situation required concerted efforts from politicians, traditional and religious leaders to play a leading role in combating COVID-19, adding that he would as the head of state, continue to make bold decisions to protect the lives of Batswana.
President Masisi further applauded frontline workers for diligently protecting and saving lives since the advent of the pandemic.
He also commended the Presidential COVID-19 Task Team and those who contributed to the COVID-19 Relief Fund as well as the nation at large.
Source : BOPA