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Botswana seeks 6-month long COVID-19 state of emergency

Total number of confirmed cases in South African country rises to 6, with 1 recorded death

Hassan Isilow   | 08.04.2020
Botswana seeks 6-month long COVID-19 state of emergency

JOHANNESBURG

The government of Botswana Wednesday requested legislators to approve a 6-month state of public emergency to curb the spread of coronavirus in the South African country.

“The government has taken the view that a declaration of six months state of emergency will accord sufficient time to allow the marshaling of what is needed to succeed in the fight,’’ said a statement posted on the official Twitter handle of the government.

On April 2, President Mokgweetsi Masisi signed the emergency powers regulation requiring all non-essential workers to remain home for 3 weeks and all citizens to respect social distancing rules. The government now wants the emergence rules extended to 6 months.

Vice President Slumber Tsogwane on Wednesday presented a motion on the endorsement of the state of public emergency as suggested by the president, saying the country is grappling with the rising number of confirmed COVID-19 cases.

The total number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Botswana reached six, with one recorded death. But the government says there is need for urgent and necessary steps to be taken to protect the public from the virus.

Tsogwane said the COVID-19 threat in Botswana has escalated as neighboring countries have seen a rapid rise in confirmed cases.

South Africa, one of Botswana’s neighbors, has over 1,800 confirmed cases, and 18 deaths from the virus.

Since emerging last December in the Chinese city of Wuhan, the virus has spread to at least 184 countries and regions.

There are more than 1.49 million confirmed infections worldwide, and with over 87,400 deaths, according to U.S.-based Johns Hopkins University. More than 317,600 patients have recovered.

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