Botswana: Surge Attributable to Protocol Breaches

Gaborone — The current surge in COVID-19 positive cases in Botswana has been attributed to severe breaches and non-compliance to health protocols.

Updating the nation via Btv on Wednesday, COVID-19 presidential task force team deputy coordinator, Professor Mosepele Mosepele revealed that the number of positive cases was increasing at an alarming rate of 100 per cent.

Following extensive contact tracing to investigate cases reported on Tuesday, he said the country had registered 65 new ones bringing the total number to 140.

Saying 21 of the new cases were Batswana, Prof Mosepele added that local transmission had surged at Terrence Private School in Mogoditshane, where the number of positive cases had increased from 11 to 22 in one class.

"The key challenge noted in relation to the Mogoditshane case is that of non-compliance to COVID-19 regulations such as incomplete registers in some cases which in turn undermines the contact tracing process," he explained.

He said results were still pending for other classes in the school while the origin of the outbreak was still under investigation.

Professor Mosepele also said unlawful gatherings, visits by or to persons under investigation for COVID-19 were some additional factors that contributed to the spread of the pandemic.

He revealed that apart from Terrence Private School, it had become apparent that Botswana Open University, Masa Primary School, Bonnington Community Junior Secondary School in the Greater Gaborone area were also exposed to COVID-19.

Citing another case, Prof Mosepele said a man in Oodi, who by virtue of his work, travelled outside the country, did not go into quarantine upon arrival as required by COVID-19 regulations and as a result infected his spouse.

"Contact tracing is ongoing and has led to an initial 14 contacts that are in quarantine," Prof Mosepele said.

He said the latest COVID-19 statistics meant that the country was likely to experience a surge in cases while the geographical concentration of the cases strongly suggested community transmission.

Advising the public to be extra vigilant in adhering to COVID-19 protocols, Prof Mosepele said those exhibiting flu-like symptoms should neither go to work nor be in public places but should instead call 16649 for advice.

He also advised medical practitioners to counsel all individuals with flu-like symptoms to self-isolate at home and not be mobile while being evaluated or on observation.

Meanwhile Prof Mosepele has assured the public that health activities through District Health Management Teams were on the ground for extensive assessments and course of action.

He said there was no need to panic further advising the public to wait for guidance and advisory from the presidential task team in conjunction with key stakeholders.

<i>Source : BOPA</i>

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