Gaborone — Botswana has registered 54 new COVID-19 cases bringing to 175 the total number of confirmed cases in the country.
Updating the nation at the weekend, Presidential Task Force Team COVID 19 deputy coordinator, Professor Mosepele Mosepele said 37 were locals.
He said 80 per cent of the confirmed cases were detected at various border posts which meant there was no local transmission in the latest tests conducted.
Meanwhile Prof Mosepele has acknowledged that the high demand for reagents used in the COVID-19 tests had created some supply complications in the country.
He was however optimistic that there would soon be an improvement making it possible to conduct 4 000 to 10 000 tests in 24 hours.
Prof Mosepele revealed that government would in the near future roll out a surveillance plan testing for easy detection of asymptomatic individuals and their prompt isolation.
The testing would enhance the value of contact tracing, he said.
Contact tracing, Prof Mosepele said, remained a widely touted approach for controlling the spread of an infection by identifying those who had been in contact with an infected individual and quarantining them.
"I believe that the most important role of surveillance plan testing will be for monitoring COVID-19 within communities, to guide the health sector's approach towards curbing the spread of the virus," he said.
The plan, he said, was to extend surveillance plan testing to Francistown, Palapye, Charleshill and Maun, as the country continued to strike a balance between economic revival and adherence to health care protocols.
On a cure for COVID-19, Prof. Mosepele said researchers were still moving full steam ahead in search of one.
He said close to 140 vaccines were currently being developed, with only 10 at testing level,.
A vaccine could possibly be in the market at the end of the year or early next year, he said.
Prof Mosepele said in addition to using face masks, meticulous hand-washing, regular disinfecting of surfaces and continued social distancing, could have substantial benefits, particularly for high-risk populations.
He appealed to school management to ensure that all COVID-19 protocols were adhered to at all times.