Botswana begins 28-day lockdown

Monday, April 6th, 2020 14:27 |
Photo taken on April 3, 2020 shows closed business centers in Francistown, east Botswana. (Xinhua/Shingirai Madondo)

Botswana has begun its 28-day lockdown period in implementing tough anti-virus measures, with almost empty streets and very limited economic activity happening.

Xinhua reporters observed that only supermarkets and restaurants opened for business while informal traders in the form of vendors stayed home in compliance with the government's instruction.

As of April 3, 2020, the nation recorded four confirmed cases of the COVID-19, which resulted in the death of a 79-year-old woman from Ramotswa village, situated some 100 km southeast of Botswana's capital on March 25.

Earlier this week, President Mokgweetsi Masisi declared a state of public emergency for the purposes of taking appropriate and stringent measures to address the risks posed by the COVID-19 pandemic that has reached a one million mark of confirmed cases globally.

A state of public emergency shall exist from midnight on April 2 until further notice, according to the government.

While the state of public emergency is in place, Masisi said there shall also be extreme social distancing commencing on April 2 at midnight for a period of 28 days because it is in the best interest of the nation.

It is against this backdrop that citizens of Botswana mostly stayed home on the first day of the lockdown with only workers, especially soldiers and police officers, providing essential service. Law and order were visible on the streets.

37-year-old Mpho Kgosiemang of Francistown, Botswana's second largest city told Xinhua that the government has implemented a lockdown in such a manner that people are allowed to go out and buy foodstuffs.

"People are generally complying because the lockdown regulations are allowing one to go out and buy food and other essentials," said a mother of three.

Eric Molale, Botswana's minister of local government and rural development, said the government will provide "psychosocial support to its citizens" during the lockdown period. (Xinhua)

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