While there has been many deaths due to the COVID-19 surge, Dikoloti says the situation is being taken care of. In the past few weeks there has been a high increase in COVID-19 positive cases leading to deaths. This is due to the third wave of the pandemic, sponsored by Delta variant.
The variant was first detected in India, later to spread across the globe, and ultimately Botswana’s neighboring South Africa. While there are suspicions that the variant entered Botswana through Indian nationals, the Assistant Minister of Health and Wellness- Sethomo Lelatisitswe says it entered from South Africa.
Delta variant is very contagious, since it’s detection in Botswana Corona Virus Disease (COVID-19) positive cases and deaths escalated rapidly.
In response to this situation, the Minister of Health and Wellness- Dr. Edwin Dikoloti says his Ministry is working around the clock to ensure there is an adequate supply of oxygen. According to Dikoloti, the need for oxygen has doubled since the surge of the third wave.
Twenty-five tonne oxygen tank has been installed at Sir Ketumile Masire Teaching Hospital according to Dikoloti. He further indicates that an additional tank was installed at Princess Marina Referral Hospital.
Dikoloti says the government has also received some donations from the private sector. “The World Health Organisation (WHO), gave us ten (10) oxygen concentrators on Friday 30 July 2021. These concentrators were distributed to Gaborone and Lobatse COVID-19 treatment facilities. Prior to this, Debswana also gave us ten (10) oxygen concentrators which were also sent to our health facilities. On Saturday 31 July 2021, De Beers Group also gave us ten (10) oxygen concentrators which have since been distributed to COVID-19 treatment centres in Boteti, SSKB and Selibe Phikwe areas. On Wednesday 4 August 2021, the Chinese Embassy in Gaborone gave us eight (8) oxygen concentrators and twenty (20) ventilators which are in the process of being distributed as well.” Dikoloti announced.
To further remedy the situation, the Minister says an emergency Request for Quotation was also issued last week for the supply of one hundred and fifty (150) 10 -15 litres per minute Oxygen Concentrators.