Botswana: Two Deaths Not Associated With Vaccine

Letlhakane — The two deaths that were reported shortly after COVID-19 vaccination started in Boteti were, according to public health specialist, Dr Orapeleng Phuswane-Katse, not associated with the vaccine.

Dr Phuswane-Katse stated during a recent National Operating Emergency Centre (NOEC) virtual meeting that investigations were conducted and there was no association with the vaccine.

Boteti deputy district commissioner, Mr Ewetse Selelo said Boteti had earlier reported that the sub-district registered 30 adverse events following COVID-19 immunisation, which had been resolved.

Mr Selelo stated that two deaths were reported in the district during the month of April and some of the symptoms reported included headache, dizziness, numbness on the injected side, malaise and shortness of breath.

He indicated that the total vaccine roll out stood at 1 069, noting that the district received 108 vials of AstraZeneca for vaccination of those above 75 years and 15 vials for healthcare workers in isolation facilities.

Mr Selelo stated that the district had 21 COVID-19 deaths: eight females and seven males in Letlhakane, three females and two males in Orapa and one male in Rakops.

He stated that the district had 62 COVID-19 cases among healthcare workers, 64 in prisons, 939 in schools, eight pregnant women, 192 under five-year-olds, and 76 of those above 65 years old.

The total number of COVID-19 cases in Boteti since the advent of COVID-19, he said, stood at 3 42 with 3 208 recovered cases and 187 active ones, whilst five were repatriated.

According to the report, Letlhakane had 1 202 cases, Orapa 1 702 while Rakops had 517 cases.

By gender, Boteti had 1 745 females who tested positive to COVID-19, 1 574 males and 102 unknown.

Mr Selelo stated that the challenges encountered were non-compliance to prescribed COVID-19 prevention, inadequate staff during the surge period, limited infrastructure for home and institutional isolation as well as lack of renewals for temporary healthcare workers contracts, among others.

He stated that the district was made up of 20 villages and 219 settlements, noting that the settlements were mainly farms and cattleposts around Khwee, Makoba, Kedia and Kaka.

The COVID-19 zone, he said, was from Thalamabele veterinary gate to Makalamabedi and Makoba gates including Gweta village.

Officer commanding, Senior Superintendent Sarah Gabathusi expressed concern that regulation of movement between Boteti and Ngamiland had proved to be difficult since Makalamabedi village fell between the two zones.

Senior Superintendent Gabathusi noted that residents wanted to travel between the two zones continuously as they did shopping and banking in Maun.

She indicated that people from Makalamabedi, which was located in Boteti, accessed health services from Makalamabedi Clinic located in Ngamiland and crossed over to go shopping in Maun on the pretext that they were going to the clinic.

She also noted that those residing in Makalamabedi, Ngamiland side, attended junior school and primary school in Makalamabedi, Boteti side.

Senior Superintendent Gabathusi stated that to address the situation, it was resolved that those travelling for healthcare, shopping and banking purpose be registered at the gate.

National Operating Emergency Centre chairperson, Brigadier Anthony Dikeledi requested an elaboration on whether Boteti COVID- 19 team used the same protocols for home isolation and quarantine as Orapa.

In response, Orapa Mine Hospital rehabilitation manager, Ms Kegomoditse Matshediso explained that Orapa did robust testing on people who returned to the mining town from areas outside Boteti, adding that they also had a flu clinic, where they test people with flu symptoms and that was how they ended with high numbers.

The Regional Health Management Team coordinator, Ms Gasebotho Kedikilwe stated that Letlhakane and Rakops did not have quarantine centres and therefore clients were put home quarantine.

<i>Source : BOPA</i>

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