Botswana like the rest of the world is at sixes and sevens fighting the spread of COVID-19 pandemic.
So far the landlocked Southern African country has registered less than 30 confirmed case of the deadly virus and only one death. Government moved in March to impose restrictions and measures targeted at combating the infections and the spread of the virus thereof.
Though he continued to break them several times himself, the country’s President, Mokgweetsi Masisi was forced to suspend external trips for government officials as well as advising the general public to stop travelling outside the country. He also imposed extreme social distancing or lockdown as it is popularly known.
There were other measures such as closure of alcohol drinking holes and restricting of public gatherings to just 10 people from the initial 100. Government also imposed restriction on the movement of people such as visiting neighbouring countries including South Africa, Lesotho and Swaziland with the exception of the movement of goods and services. The food exception is because Botswana is not self-sufficient in food production and is heavily reliant on South Africa. South African continues to record high numbers of positive cases and deaths on a daily basis ,but it has opened up some sectors of economy to operate.
Coronavirus or no coronavirus, the economy has to continue functioning. Botswana has been on lockdown since April 2, 2020 midnight and it has been eased gradually since the beginning of this month. It is expected that on May 21, 2020 lockdown will be over but travelling restrictions outside one’s zone will be monitored.
It is also expected that by June 2, 2020 students will be going back to school. Thanks to this pandemic, our dilapidated schools have been attended to. Now all the schools should operate with reliable water supply. No more pit latrines that were an eyesore, a health hazard and disaster waiting to happen for most of our public schools.
It is unbelievable that some public schools in diamond-rich Botswana are still using overflowing pit latrines. We also hope that the student-teacher ratio will be attended to as a matter of urgency, thanks to COVID-19. Additionally we hope the authorities will also make sure that e-learning is rolled out in all public schools.
Unemployed safety and health management graduates are now getting attention that they deserve, thanks to this global pandemic. There are so many lessons from COVID-19 and Botswana is ready to open up majority sectors of economy again. Balance up all health issues with the impact they are having in the economy. We cannot hide forever from COVID-19. All in all, Botswana has achieved a lot in fighting this pandemic. Now it is time to go back to work!
“All countries need to review their strategies now.”
- Dr. Michael J. Ryan