Mbabane: Botswana has reverted to a strict lockdown in its capital city, Gaborone, and surrounding areas after the Southern African country recorded 12 new cases of the virus on Friday.
Diamond-rich Botswana ended a 48-day national coronavirus lockdown late last month, allowing businesses and schools to reopen under controls, but its borders are still closed apart from for returning citizens and imports of essential goods.
But Malaki Tshipayagae, the country’s Director of Health Services, said in a televised announcement that officials had recorded four new imported cases at its borders and eight at a private hospital in Gaborone, bringing cumulative cases to 60.
“From midnight today the greater Gaborone area will revert to extreme social distancing until further notice, where only essential services will be allowed to operate.” Tshipayagae said.
This reinstated lockdown in Botswana halted a return journey of Eswatini students who are studying in Limkokwing University of Technology who were supposed to leave on Saturday to join their colleagues who were already back in class.
Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Thuli Dladla confirmed the cancelation of the flight of the students. On a lighter note, Dladla applauded the Botswana government for prompt communication as they were able to announce the cancelation of the flight while students were still at home. She only described the gesture as a noble one, adding that her working relationship with her counterparts in Botswana has been excellent and very professional.
One of the students, Mcinseli Vundla who is studying Honours Degree in Public Relations told Independent News that even though they were ready to leave to Botswana, he appreciative of the communication between the two governments as it reached them at the right time when they were still at home. “We were supposed to leave by 11:30 on Saturday” he said. Vundla said they will patiently wait for the Government of Botswana to give them the green light to return to the university to proceed with their studies.