GABORONE, March 16 (Xinhua) -- Botswana's Health and Wellness Minister Lemogang Kwape on Monday imposed a travel ban on people entering the southern African country from 18 high-risk countries to prevent the transmission and spread of Coronavirus.
"All individuals coming to Botswana from China, Japan, Iran, the United States of America (US), United Kingdom (UK), Austria, Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, Norway, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and India will not be allowed entry," he said.
According to Kwape, Batswana (citizens of Botswana) and residents returning from the 18 countries, which Botswana classifies as high-risk countries, will be subjected to a mandatory quarantine for 14-day, as per the protocol.
"Issuance of Visas at ports entry and at all embassies is suspended with immediate effect," said Kwape in a statement, adding that current visas are cancelled with immediate effect until further notice.
Furthermore, public gatherings of more than 50 people have been totally suspended with immediate effect for a period of a month.
Public gatherings include religious activities, sporting events, conferences, wedding celebrations, music concerts, parties and gymnasiums.
Besides total suspension of public gatherings, locals have been urged to maintain a distance of one to two meters between individual persons and maximum of 50 individuals everywhere at banks, restaurants, shops, pharmacies and government service departments.
All citizens and residents of Botswana are advised to postpone travel to affected countries to minimize the risk of coronavirus.
So far, Botswana has recorded 16 suspected coronavirus cases of which 14 of them have tested negative while results of the remaining two are still pending. Tests for the pending two are currently taking place at a regional laboratory in South Africa. Enditem