Botswana’s capital city Gaborone has returned to a total lockdown following an increase in the number of COVID-19 cases.
The city reinstated its strict containment measures starting midnight on Friday until further notice, as announced by health officials after an earlier announcement of 12 new cases.
Malaki Tshipayagae, the country’s director of health services, said in a televised announcement that officials had recorded four new imported cases at its borders and eight at a private hospital in Gaborone, bringing cumulative cases to 60.
“We are still to determine whether the hospital cases are local transmissions,” Tshipayagae said. “From midnight today the greater Gaborone area will revert to extreme social distancing until further notice, where only essential services will be allowed to operate.”
Before the 12 were announced, Botswana only had one active case of the coronavirus.
Diamond-rich Botswana ended a 48-day national coronavirus lockdown late last month, but its borders are still closed apart from for returning citizens and imports of essential goods.
It has recorded only one Covid-19 death.
The previous lockdown severely hit the economy, with real gross domestic product seen contracting 13% this year while the budget deficit could more than double.