Botswana parliament declares 6-month state of public emergency over COVID-19 scourge

Thursday, April 9th, 2020 00:00 |
Botswanan president Mokgweetsi Masisi addresses a COVID-19 special parliamentary meeting in Gaborone, Botswana, April 8, 2020. (Xinhua/Tshekiso Tebalo)

Botswana parliament on Thursday declared a six-month-long state of emergency for the purpose of curbing the spread and transmission of the deadly COVID-19 pandemic in the southern African country.

At the end of a two-day COVID-19 special parliamentary meeting held in Gaborone, Botswana's capital city, the majority of the legislators of this diamond rich nation of Botswana agreed for the state of the emergency to be declared.

 "We are facing a spectre of such a catastrophic national threats that we have to invoke the one clause in our Constitution that is specially tailored for threats of this magnitude," said President Mokgweetsi Masisi.

Masisi said it is important to highlight that Botswana, as a developing country, does not have sufficient infrastructure and the technological expertise to deal with this disease.

After a thorough audit of the country's healthcare system, authorities in the southern African country noted a shortage of doctors, nurses and necessary medical equipment to comprehensively deal with the challenges of a full-blown outbreak.

Meanwhile, Botswana recorded a spike in the number of confirmed cases of the pandemic following the announcement of seven new ones on Thursday.

Botswana's health minister Lemogang Kwape announced earlier on Thursday that confirmed COVID-19 cases now stands at 13 and one death.  (Xinhua)

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