Botswana has extended its state of emergency for a further six months to combat the spread of the coronavirus.
Botswana will maintain several restrictions, including limits to international travellers and tourism.
The country will continue to restrict public gatherings but it has reopened schools and allows the sale of liquor during limited hours. Facemasks must be worn in all public places.
Speaking before parliament voted to continue the emergency on Monday night, Eric President Mokgweetsi Masisi said:
The disease burden has made it clear and imperative for us to extend the state of public emergency in the interest of the public.
The move was, however, criticised by the country’s leading opposition figures. Dumelang Saleshando, leader of the opposition party, the Botswana Congress Party said:
Households are under severe financial strain with wages in the tourism sector cut and the wage subsidy not in place to assist them.
According to figures released on Tuesday by the Africa Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Botswana has reported 3 172 confirmed cases of COVID-19, including 16 deaths.