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Tuesday, July 16, 2024

New stricter rules for truckers entering Botswana after SA trucker tests positive to COVID-19

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Botswana has introduced new stricter rules after a trucker travelling from South Africa tested positive for COVID-19.

The truck driver entered Botswana through the Tlokweng border on Saturday and his results came back positive on Sunday.

Due to the new case, truck drivers will now be required to produce evidence of a negative COVID-19 result that is no more than 72 hours old.

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As a requirement for entry, truck drivers will:

a. Be subjected to COVID-19 testing at point of entry as will be determined by the Director of Health

b. Have their movements monitored while in Botswana.

c. Be required to abide by strict rules for containment of COVID-19 as directed by the Director of
Health Services. This includes use of designated rest sites along approved green channels.

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Director of Health Services, Dr. Malaki Tshipayagae urged truck owners and drivers to ensure that the new rules are followed to avoid inconveniences.

Following the trucker’s case, the Presidential Covid-19 task team co-ordinator Kereng Masupu also declared Gaborone a high-risk area and ordered a lockdown with effect from Monday.

The trucker is said to have made contact with several people, including businesses such as Choppies at Fairground Mall, the Puma filling station at Fairground Mall and the CA Sale and Distribution at Commerce Park, which were closed immediately, with their employees advised not to go to work until further notice.

“Those that came into contact with the truck driver are being traced while the truck driver is admitted at Sir Ketumile Masire Hospital,” he said.

All businesses the truck driver visited along his delivery route have been identified, registers have been collected and contact tracing has started.

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The incident has occurred barely two days after the easing of restrictions on movement within the country to open up the economy, and only those with essential permits will be allowed to travel, Masupu has said.

Botswana has now registered 24 Covid-19 cases, with one death and 12 recoveries.

The country is under a state of emergency for six months in an attempt to cut the spread of Covid-19. Movement of people is restricted and only essential cargo is allowed through the country’s port of entry.

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