GABORONE – The Novel Coronavirus forced 65 Botswana MPs including the president to take a 14 days Quarantine after identified as a risk to the public.
What should have been a peaceful deliberation over the extension of a state lockdown had the whole MP’s forced into self-isolation. They all had contact with a health worker who tested positive to COVID19.
Health Minister Lemogang Kwape disclosed the sad news to the parliamentarians on Thursday that the health worker had tested positive for COVID-19 overnight, one of seven new confirmed cases that brought the total in the southern African country to 13.
“The health worker had not shown any symptoms but had just taken a routine test. Unfortunately, the result came late on Wednesday after she was on duty at yesterday’s parliament session,” Kwape told the assembly before lawmakers endorsed Masisi’s proposal to extend the state of emergency.
Director of Public Health Malaki Tshipayagae instructed all the lawmakers to quarantine themselves.
Stubborn MPs moved into govt supervised quarantine
Barely 24 hours after the government announced that all lawmakers were supposed to observe a period of quarantine for COVID-19, the Director of Health Services at the Ministry of Health and Wellness, has been forced to put several MPs under government-supervised quarantine.
Dr. Malaki Tshipayagae said the MPs in question had defied orders to self-isolate and a good number of them were seen at the shopping malls.
A government statement read in part: “It has since come to my attention that some Members of Parliament have breached their quarantine rules by going to supermarkets thus spreading the risk.
“This is regrettable and the public is informed that the MPs have been removed from home quarantine and will be quarantined under government-supervised quarantine.
“His Excellency the President, Members of Parliament, Senior Government Officials and members of the media who attended are urged to follow home quarantine rules and not risk the spread of the disease to members of their families and the public at large.”
The country is under lockdown after the President declared a state of emergency to curb spread of the virus. As of April 10, Botswana had recorded 13 cases with one death.
Trade unions estimate that more than 20,000 workers have been laid off or placed on unpaid leave over the global coronavirus pandemic.