Committed to roll out a successful and timely vaccination programme against COVID-19, government will eventually cover all the people of Botswana, as set out in the Reset Agenda. As of July 2, 2021, over 165,000 citizens and residents had received at least one dose of the vaccine. Of this number, 108,000 people are fully vaccinated.
The President says Botswana is expecting to receive 50,000 Mordena vaccines and at least 50,000 doses of Johnson and Johnson vaccines by December 2021.
“Sadly, we lost 1,253 people to the pandemic as at July 12, 2021, compared to 300 in February 2021. The situation of the pandemic will worsen before it gets better. Therefore, we must take individual and collective responsibility to protect ourselves and the entire nation from COVID-19. We must brace ourselves for the imminent shortage of necessities, such as food and fuel, occasioned by disruptions of the supply chain in the region emanating from COVID-19 and its associated impact on the economy,” Masisi said recently when briefing the nation.
The President said the national principle of self-reliance has become more urgent than ever before. He encouraged Batswana to rise to the occasion and enhance food security in the country.
The President further revealed that people with underlying medical conditions, such as diabetes, hypertension and cancer are more at risk, and those most affected by these conditions are the elderly.
He added: “To this extent, 80% of those who have lost their lives in this country are over 50 years. Let me reiterate my government’s unwavering commitment to roll out a successful and timely vaccination programme against COVID-19 that will eventually cover all the people of Botswana, as set out in the Reset Agenda, which I recently announced”.
On other issues, the President said COVID-19 has also negatively affected businesses of all sizes. He said according to the Bank of Botswana Business Expectations Survey of March 2021, the most affected businesses are in retail, hotels, restaurants, transport and communications; finance and business services; mining, as well as the construction sector.
He, however, said the government had introduced interventions to address the challenges, which have yielded success in many important ways.
He added CEDA was allocated P300 million under the Economic Recovery Transformation Plan to assist companies that were affected by the pandemic.
“To date, it has approved 149 working capital loans valued at P24.7 million. These loans are in the manufacturing, property and services sectors.
The Informal Sector Recovery Plan was another notable initiative administered by the Local Enterprise Authority (LEA) to support the informal sector businesses. LEA has been allocated P100 million and has so far disbursed P38 million to 38,232 informal sector businesses. I am happy to inform you that the government has completed the rollout of the Reset Agenda to accounting officers, chief executives of state-owned entities, heads of local authorities and heads of Botswana diplomatic missions abroad. In this regard, there are ongoing structural reforms to the public sector to improve the implementation of government programmes,” he said.