The Republic of Botswana end its 48-day lockdown at midnight on Wednesday. This allows businesses and schools to resume under stringent conditions. The landlocked country in Southern Africa joins the rest of the globe to jump-start its economic after being hard hit by the Covid-19 pandemic.
Stringent conditions have been set for businesses and schools wishing to reopen – checking of body temperatures, regular disinfection and wearing of masks.
With a consistent record of uninterrupted democratic elections and the lowest perceived corruption ranking in Africa since at least 1998, the diamond rich nation had been gradually relaxing restrictions for the past fourteen days with only selected economic sectors such as mines allowed to operate.
Ban on foreign visitors stand but returning citizens and residents will undergo mandatory quarantine.
Though With just 29 confirmed cases and fatality, the economy has been severely impacted by the outbreak with real GDP estimated to contract by 13% this year.
The nation described as largely decent and responsible could not sell its diamonds for the past three months due to Covid-19 movement restrictions. Hitherto, buyers visited the country as often as 10 times in a year.
Covid-19 Task Force Coordinator, Dr Kereng Masupu said: “All lockdown restrictions will be lifted effective midnight, with only those moving across the designated zones requiring permits to travel. Depending on the coronavirus disease pattern, a return to lockdown will remain an option.”