Botswana truck drivers who have recently returned from South Africa make up almost half of 96 known Covid-19 cases among citizens. More than 80% of the 522 infected people as on Wednesday were foreigners.

Of the 96 known cases among citizens of Botswana, 44 – not far from half –  are truck drivers who had returned after trips to South Africa to collect essential goods.

Instead of mass community testing, Botswana has implemented a “sentinel testing” strategy, with a focus on points of transit, villages close to its borders, and points of entry.

As of Wednesday Botswana had tested 55,520 people for the novel coronavirus, for a case positivity rate of 0.94%.

Read also: Botswana accused of refusing truckers rest during escort

That is compared to 337 594 known cases in South Africa, where 4,804 have died and 178,183 recovered from the dreaded virus.

Long-distance trucking was strongly associated with the spread of HIV in South Africa and through southern Africa, with the alarm raised by the mid-1990s, and studies persistently recommending interventions targeted at truck drivers and female sex workers along major routes.

And now, long-distance trucking finds itself at the heart of Covid-19 infection figures seem for Botswana.

SA Trucker urges truck drivers to remain vigilant as they carry on with their work of maintaining a constant supply of essential goods.

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