Botswana remains one of Africa’s least impacted countries, one of a handful with less than 100 cases of COVID-19. Government has in the past month taken drastic measures including a strict lockdown.

President Eric Masisi tested negative for the third time on June 1. The wholes parliament was quarantined at a point when a health worker tested positive there.

As part of containment measures, wearing of home-made masks have been made obligatory in public. Data collection has also been a key plank of the response as part of contact tracing efforts.

Some schools have reopened along with the trend across parts of Africa. Strict health protocols are to be observed as kids return for lessons. This article concentrates on major updates from the country in its fight against the coronavirus pandemic.

July 3: Foreign Affairs Ministry shut

The Ministry of International Affairs and Cooperation has been shut “due to COVID-19 exposure,” government confirmed on Friday.

“… in line with the precautionary protocol measures the Ministry Headquarters will provide its services remotely until further notice.

“The Ministry Headquarters in Gaborone will be closed to the public and visitors,” an official statement added.

Total confirmed cases = 227
Total recoveries = 28
Total deaths = 1
Active cases = 198

Figures valid as of close of day July 2, 2020

July 2: President in quarantine – again

President Masisi is in quarantine following the discovery of a positive case on one of the officers “closely serving” him. It will be the fourth time the president is quarantining.

A statement from his office confirming the incident read in part: “The Office of the President regrets to inform that due to the discovery of a positive Covid-19 test result last night on one of the officials closely serving His Excellency the President Dr Mokgweetsi Eric Keabetswe Masisi.

“… the usual Covid-19 precautionary protocols have been activated, resulting in the immediate self-quarantine of His Excellency the President and some of his inner circle of officials. Contact Tracing is continuing and further updates will be made in the course of time,” it added.

  • First quarantine after trip to Namibia for inauguration ceremony
  • Second quarantine, after exposure to infected person during parliamentary session
  • Third quarantine, after trip to Zimbabwe for SADC meeting

June 23: Mandatory testing of cross border travellers

The presidential task force for COVID-19 reported on Monday that it had recorded success in mandatory testing of cross border travellers, after one such traveler tested positive.

The said traveler – an undocumented migrant, who came into contact with about 15 security officers in Gaborone and other primary contacts is currently receiving treatment. She was reported to authorities by residents of a compound where she stayed.

“The 15 security officers and others who were primary contacts are currently awaiting their results. Pending the outcome of the test results, primary contacts of the security officers and other primary contacts such as their family members, are currently treated as casual contacts,” a June 22 statement from the task force read.

Total confirmed cases = 89
Total recoveries = 25
Total deaths = 1
Active cases = 63

Figures valid as of close of day June 22, 2020

June 16: Gaborone lockdown lifted

The lockdown imposed on Greater Gaborone has been lifted authorities announced on Monday, the measure was imposed last Friday.

The lifting follows re-testing of 16 suspected cases, which returned 10 negative results. The remaining six cases are awaiting confirmatory results, according director of health services Malaki Tshipayagae.

The southern Africa country exited an extreme lockdown on 21 May, the country was subsequently zoned with strict regulations on movement. Government has made contact keeping a core part of reopening the economy.

With the lifting of the Gaborone lockdown, public schools are also set to reopen with the first batch (completing students) returning tomorrow whiles the latest returnees will be back in August (pre-primary children), a basic education ministry statement confirmed today.

In between the two batches, non-completing students will return on Monday June 22. The statement said private schools are to make their own reopening decisions.

Total confirmed cases = 60
Total recoveries = 24
Total deaths = 1
Active cases = 35