Botswana: Masisi Requests Six-Months State of Emergency

Gaborone — President Dr Mokgweetsi Masisi has appealed to Members of Parliament to approve a six-month state of public emergency in order to fight the COVID-19 pandemic.

He told a special sitting of Parliament today that COVID-19 was a threat to national security, hence the need to have more time to focus on the pandemic and save lives.

The World Health Organisation (WHO), he said, had ranked Botswana as one of the least prepared countries in terms of responding to disease outbreaks.

President Masisi said Botswana did not have sufficient infrastructure and technological expertise to deal with the pandemic.

He noted that there was shortage of doctors, nurses and medical equipment to deal with challenges of a full outbreak in the country.

Furthermore, Dr Masisi noted that there were 6 000 beds with 60-70 percent occupancy rate nationally, with 120 critical beds. He also said the country's nurse and doctor to population ration was 1:300 and 1:2000 respectively, stating that these were below the WHO recommendations of 1:8 nurses per general medical bed and 1:1000 doctor per population overall.

Source : BOPA

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