Gov't Should Minimise COVID-19 Reporting Errors

While there are still those who find faults in many of government’s efforts to curb the spread of the coronavirus, the COVID-19 task team still needs to be commended for the good work they are doing.

Many citizens at the beginning had shown signs of panic, while some even blatantly complained that there seemed to be no strategy to curb the spread of COVID-19.  Also, others observed that government is ill prepared for the possibility that many citizens may end up infected. Up to now, Botswana seems to be amongst the few countries that have responded well to the pandemic, with only one death recorded.When addressing the media recently, task team member Dr Mogomotsi Matshaba revealed that the country had recorded three positive cases of COVID-19 in children. He revealed that one of the cases was of a six-month-old infant who had travelled with parents to South Africa for medical attention. The other child was said to have been living with a parent in South Africa and travelled back to Botswana. The third child was said to be a Thebe Primary School pupil whose father travels frequently to South Africa on official duty. This particular case had many parents who have school-going children in panic mode, more so that while the decision to re-open schools was largely welcome, there were still some who felt it was too soon for schools to open. Fast-forward, the Thebe Primary School pupil is no longer positive, and the task force once again went public to announce that the pupil is negative. In June, there were reports that patients tested positive at Gaborone Private Hospital, but were then later declared negative by the COVID-19 task team. These scenarios have created some kind of doubt in the community, as some are beginning to irresponsibly claim that there is not a single case of coronavirus in Botswana. While government has made a promise to keep citizens informed at all times, the government should come up with a strategy that can help minimise communicative errors when reporting cases to the public.While Batswana should be commended for adhering to COVID-19 regulations, there are still some who look for excuses not to abide by the rules. Perhaps, the task team should consider not releasing the results until they have satisfied the verification process of positive cases. Meanwhile, there are few who even with repeated public awareness choose not to abide by the regulations, with some people still boarding public transport without wearing masks and some choosing not to register their names. It is also our responsibility to protect ourselves from the virus and ensure that we do not frustrate government’s efforts to contain the spread of the pandemic.

Editor's Comment
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