• A health worker screening lawmakers for the virus herself tested positive.
• Minister of Health and Wellness Dr Lemogang Kwape told parliamentarians on Thursday that the health worker had tested positive for coronavirus overnight.
GABORONE – All Botswana’s parliamentarians, including President Mokgweetsi Masisi will be quarantined for 14 days and tested for the new coronavirus, Reuters reports.
This is after a health worker screening lawmakers for the virus herself tested positive.
Minister of Health and Wellness Dr Lemogang Kwape told parliamentarians on Thursday that the health worker had tested positive for coronavirus overnight.
They were among the seven new cases announced by Kwape, bringing the total in Botswana to 13.
“The cases are as follows … A health worker who was based at Block 8 clinic and yesterday was on duty at Parliament session assisting there,” Kwape announced on Thursday.
The health worker had checked the temperatures of some of the MPs on Wednesday during a special parliamentary sitting of parliament.
It was called to debate a proposal by Masisi to extend a state of emergency to six months.
“The health worker had not shown any symptoms but had just taken a routine test. Unfortunately, the result came late on Wednesday after she was on duty at yesterday’s parliament session,” Kwape told the assembly before lawmakers endorsed Masisi’s proposal to extend the state of emergency.
Director of Public Health Malaki Tshipayagae instructed all the lawmakers to quarantine themselves.
Masisi, who is also an MP and already had to self-isolate in March after a visit to Namibia.
The lawmakers have the option to self-isolate at home or be taken to facilities designated by the government.
Separately, regulations published in the government gazette on Thursday banned businesses from laying off staff during the state of emergency.
Trade unions estimate that more than 20,000 workers have been laid off or placed on unpaid leave over the global coronavirus pandemic. (Reporting by Brian Benza Editing by Alexander Winning and Alexandra Hudson)