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Coronavirus: Masisi and entourage quarantined

ANDREW SESINYI
Masisi with his Namibian and Zim counterparts in Windhoek PIC. THE SOUTHERN TIMES
PRESS STATEMENT: The Office of the President wishes to inform members of the public that the Director of Health Services in the Ministry of Health and Wellness, Dr Malaki Tshipayagae, in exercise of the powers vested in him under Section 25 of the Public Health Act of 2013, has placed His Excellency the President of the Republic of Botswana, Dr Mokgweetsi Eric Keabetswe Masisi on self-isolation for a period of fourteen (14) days starting March 21, 2020, following his trip to the Republic of Namibia on March 21, 2020.

The rationale for the imposition of self-isolation is that while Namibia has registered three (3) imported cases, and is considered low risk for SARS-Cv-2 transmission at the time of His Excellency the President's trip to Namibia, the low testing rates in the Region makes that determination difficult and there is a high possibility of undetermined local transmission. 

During the time of self-isolation, His Excellency will be tested for SARS- CoV-2 (Covid-19) prior to being cleared. His Excellency the President will, as such, be working from his official residence but quarantined away from his family. The Director of Health Services has extended the same impositions to the rest of the entourage that travelled with His Excellency the President to Namibia.

The Office of the President informs that very strict preventative protocols were effected on the President prior to departure, upon arrival in Namibia while there and upon return. The latest quarantine measures are part of the battery of measures to protect His Excellency, those in his entourage and everyone else.

His excellency the President undertook an emergency official trip to Nam1b1a on Saturday, March

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2l5t, 2020, to seize the opportunity of the presence of other regional Heads of State in Windhoek Namibia to discuss critical Covid-19 measures taken in the respective countries sharing borders with the Republic of Botswana

The President took the view that a face to face meeting with his counterparts was necessary to discuss urgent border issues in the face of the Covid-19 pandemic. The President recognized that while Botswana needs to keep regional borders open for passage of goods, the Regional Leaders must agree on reasonable restrictions as well. There is, for instance, the need for consistency on the treatment of truckers bringing in essential supplies from the Republic of South Africa.

Issues of immigration also emerged in the meetings His Excellency had with his regional counterparts. There is also need to facilitate legal extension for those who cannot leave due to airline cancellations. Issues of defence also emerged in the light of the need to police the borders.

The President recognized that the closure of many crossing points would lead to desperation and illegal crossings.

 

ANDREW SESINYI

PERMANENT SECRETARY GOVERNMENT COMMUNICATIONS



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