Botswana’s President Mokgweetsi Masisi has declared a state of emergency for 28 days to curb the spread of the coronavirus.

He said there will be an “extreme lockdown” from Thursday onwards when only those providing essential services will be allowed to leave their homes.

Each essential-service provider will be issued with a special a Covid-19 travel permit” by the government, he said.

Botswana on Monday became the latest African country to confirm coronavirus cases after three people tested positive.

The president has also summoned parliament to meet again within seven days and pass state-of-emergency regulations.

President Masisi said people should not panic-buy essential goods as supply will continue during the lockdown.

He said further guidelines on how people will get essential goods and services will be issued, and a relief fund had been set up to cushion those affected.

Botswana’s government will give a wage subsidy to help businesses retain employees during the coronavirus pandemic.

President Masisi said his government will continue to build up grain and fuel reserves and provide water and medical equipment during the emergency.



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