Friday, June 21, 2024

Covid-19 strains Councils

A number of district councils across the country have been hit hard by Covid-19 culminating in some of them being temporarily closed.

This has caused intermittent service delivery disruptions countrywide.  

This obtaining situation was confirmed by the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development in an e-mailed response to The Telegraph queries. 

Acting Permanent Secretary in the same ministry, Onalenna Sechele said:”It is true that COVID-19 has affected some District Councils as they have registered a number of cases that culminated in the temporary closure of the offices to allow for disinfection.”

Sechele said to date, 143 cases have been registered at the following District Councils:

Lobatse Town Council (13), Gaborone City Council (25), Selebi-Phikwe Town Council (7), Jwaneng Town Council (1), City of Francistown Council (5), Chobe District Council (1), North East District Council (0), Southern District Council (43), North West District Council (20), Ghanzi District Council (5), Kgalagadi District Council (2), Kweneng District Council (9), Kgatleng District Council (5), South East District Council (5) and Central District Council (2).

Asked how has this affected service delivery and what measures had they put in place to address the spike in cases in District Councils, Sechele explained that some Local Authorities like Southern District Council, Gaborone City Council and North West District Council have registered more cases than others.

This had a telling effect on service delivery given that offices were closed temporarily, thus disrupting provision of services at the affected areas. 

“However, the Ministry has directed District Councils to put in place measures to ensure that services are not disrupted whenever new cases are registered. Some of the measures include adherence to COVID-19 health protocols, double shifts and working from home,” said Sechele. 

Botswana has registered more than 23 000 positive cases which has claimed the lives of more 163 people across the country. 

The Government announced a further extension of night curfew to February 28 after reports emerged that risks posed by COVID-19 have increased in the country. 

The announcement was made through a government gazette. The restriction on movement of persons shall continue to apply from 20:00 and 04:00 am.

During this curfew period, a person shall be required to carry a movement permit at times when movement is restricted. The government gazette stated that “the sale and consumption of liquor in public places shall continue to be suspended, as the two activities are regarded as super spreaders of the global pandemic.”

RELATED STORIES

Read this week's paper