Botswana: 'Stop Stigmatisation of Quarantined People'

Maun — Communities have been urged to avoid stigmatising people who are quarantined in an effort to control spread of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Ngamiland District commissioner, Mr Keolopile Leipego, said in an interview that they received reports of stigmatisation in some areas because community members had a perception that people quarantined tested positive for COVID-19.

He said most reports were from Khoemacau Copper Mine in Toteng, stating that they were planning to visit the mine and address employees on the COVID-19 pandemic.

Mr Leipego reported that about seven people were quarantined at the mine isolation centre and all had tested negative and released, but other employees were in a panic mood and were reluctant to interact with them.

"As leadership, we believe there is a need to address all employees engaged by the mine because we believe that the information we have been sharing with their leadership does not reach them, hence stigmatisation," he added.

Recently, the district commissioner refuted reports that the district had recorded a confirmed case of COVID-19 involving one employee at Khoemacau Copper Mine.

The district had set aside Matshwane Clinic as an isolation centre where patients who tested positive would be quarantined, he added.

Mr Leipego noted that the district was doing well to control spread of COVID-19 pandemic.

He revealed that out of 40 people who had been quarantined across the district, 22 tested negative while 28 were still awaiting results.

All quarantined people were reported to be returning from South Africa and Namibia.

He explained that there were two people at Gunotsoga in the Okavango Sub-district who were classified as high index COVID-19 suspects, but hey also tested negative.

The duo, who are a couple, decided to do self-quarantine since one was showing signs of not being well after returning from South Africa on March 19.

Source : BOPA

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