26 Oct 2020
As a result of the fast-spreading coronavirus pandemic, the Botswana government has extended its state of emergency for a further six months.
Prior to the vote on the emergency extension, President Mokgweetsi Masisi said, “The disease burden has made it clear and imperative for us to extend the state of public emergency in the interest of the public.”
The country has had 3,172 confirmed cases of COVID-19 since the start of the pandemic, and 16 deaths. Figures were confirmed by the Africa Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The restrictions will remain in Botswana, limiting international travellers and tourism.
However, leader of the opposition party, the Botswana Congress Party, Dumelang Saleshando warned about the country’s economy and financial problems.
“Households are under severe financial strain with wages in the tourism sector cut and the wage subsidy not in place to assist them.”
Botswana’s public gatherings will remain restricted and the public must wear facemasks when outside. Sales of liquor have been restricted to a limited number of hours.
The COVID-19 relief fund in Botswana 2 billion Botswanan pula, covering wage subsidies for struggling businesses and to deliver food to the families which required help. The funding was also used to buy medical supplies for hospitals.