Botswana has lifted the sale of alcohol and public gatherings following the declining number of COVID-19 infections cases and deaths, President Mokgweetsi Masisi said on Friday.
In a televised national address, the President said as of September 6, all public gatherings, including weddings, will be allowed while following COVID-19 health protocols.
“The ban on the sale of alcohol will be lifted and allowed on a take away basis as per level 3 of the emergency response framework,” he said.
He said the number of people allowed at religious gatherings and church services remains at a maximum of 50 and would be allowed twice a week. Funerals are to take place within five days of a death, with all established COVID-19 health and safety protocols enforced. He said Botswana has experienced a gradual decrease in the number of new infections and deaths since August 13.
“As at 14 August, we had 13,380 active cases, translating to more than 1,000 cases per day, with a positivity rate at 27%. By the August 30, active cases had dropped to 5,146, and daily cases halved with a positivity rate at 9%, nearly a threefold decrease.
We have also witnessed a significant decrease in hospital admissions with a 70% decline in patients admitted into our COVID-19 treatment facilities.”
President Masisi said Botswana has fully vaccinated 21.6% of the currently eligible population of about 1,531, 000 people. He said 1,009,974 doses, comprising Sinovac, AstraZeneca, Johnson and Johnson and Moderna are expected to be delivered this month.
“This number includes the 404,494 doses of Sinovac due to arrive this Sunday. The total number of vaccines expected this month, together with those that have been received so far, will mean that by the end of October, 975, 782 Batswana will be fully vaccinated, translating into 64% of the target population being fully vaccinated.”
The President said inter-zonal movement continues to be restricted to essential travel only, and schools would reopen as planned. Schools opened on August 31 in the first phase, and the second phase will follow on September 7.
Source: African News Agency