Botswana’s president, lawmakers out of quarantine after testing negative for coronavirus

epa06657760 Newly installed President of Botswana Mokgweetsi Masisi after arriving in Harare, Zimbabwe, 09 April 2018. Masisi, who was sworn in on 01 April 2018 after taking over power from Ian Khama visits neighbouring countries to strengthen diplomatic relations. EPA-EFE/AARON UFUMELI
By Reuters
23 Apr 2020 0

GABORONE, April 23 (Reuters) - President Mokgweetsi Masisi and all of Botswana's lawmakers have been released from two weeks in quarantine after testing negative for the coronavirus, a senior official said on Thursday.

They had been asked to quarantine for 14 days and be tested after a health worker screening the lawmakers for the virus tested positive.

“All members of parliament have tested negative for COVID-19 and they are being released from quarantine,” Kereng Masupu, coordinator of the COVID-19 Presidential Task Force, told a news briefing.

Botswana, which has implemented a state of emergency and lockdown to stem the spread of the COVID-19 respiratory disease which the coronavirus can cause, has tested 5,023 people for the virus so far.

The southern African country has reported 22 confirmed cases, including eight instances of local transmission. One person has died after contracting the coronavirus.

Some lawmakers had been moved into supervised quarantine after failing to observe the instruction to self-isolate. Botswana dismissed two senior health officials on Wednesday without disclosing the reason. (Reporting by Brian Benza; editing by Emma Rumney and Timothy Heritage)


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