Saturday, June 15, 2024

Black Friday goes digital

The COVID-19 Task Force has encouraged Batswana to shop online this black Friday over fears of possible mass infections.

This year’s will be the first black Friday since the outbreak of the virus in China in December 2019.

Previous events have attracted mass gatherings usually involving stampedes as people rush to buy household items at giveaway prices.

But COVID-19 is set to spoil the party with Deputy Coordinator of the Task Force Professor Mosepele Mosepele encouraging shoppers to order online. “Checking temperatures and wearing masks is not going to save you in crowded places,” Mosepele said on Monday.

Botswana’s total COVID-19 positive cases stood at 9992 according to the latest update by the Task force, just eight cases shy of the 10,000 mark.

There were almost 400 (398) cases recorded between November 16 and 19, 2020. Local residents made up 386 of the cases with only 12 recorded at the border gates. The numbers constitute at least 100 cases per day. The country has been steadily hovering over 100 daily cases for the past three months.

The total number of local positive cases stood at 8,531 with 808 active cases, and 7,692 recoveries. The number of deaths remained as at the previous update at 31 cases.

Botswana had at the last update conducted 398,311 COVID-19 tests. Mosepele said they encouraged people to avoid mass gatherings as the nation heads into the festive season.

He discouraged city dwellers from undertaking their annual trips to their respective villages saying that would make it difficult to control the spread of the virus. He said people should instead send money electronically and remain in towns to avoid spreading the virus across the country. He also encouraged parents not to send children to the village when schools close next week.

Mosepele had announced 491 new positive cases between in the previous update on Thursday November 19, 2020. The total number of active cases stood at 818, with 7,296 active cases. The total number of tests stood at 377,957.

Mosepele said again that Gaborone remained the epicentre of Botswana’s COVID-19 infections, accounting for a significant majority of cases. Lobatse remains one of the most affected places.

He called on residents to take more responsibility in curbing the spread of the virus. Local transmissions remain at their highest.

President Mokgweetsi Masisi has previously warned COVID-19 has become a national health and security threat. He said more than ever, it has become necessary to strengthen Botswana’s response to the pandemic given the country’s fragile and limited resources. “As you will recall, the first case of COVID-19 in Botswana was recorded on 31st March 2020. From the 2nd April to 21st July, 2020, Botswana registered a total of One Hundred and Thirteen (113) cases and only one death.”


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