Botswana lifts coronavirus lockdown in capital city

GABORONE, June 15 (Reuters) - Botswana on Monday lifted a recently reinstated coronavirus lockdown on its capital city Gaborone and surrounding areas after most of the cases reported last week turned out to be negative, the health department said.

Botswana ended a 48-day national lock down on May 21, allowing businesses and schools to reopen, but reinstated strict control on movement in the greater Gaborone region on Friday after health officials reported eight new coronavirus cases at one hospital.

But on Monday health officials said national government had retested the patients and the results had come back negative.

“We ended up having a total of 16 new suspected local cases on Friday but from those, 10 have been confirmed to be negative whilst the results on the six remaining are still pending,” director of health services Malaki Tshipayagae said in a televised announcement.

“As a result the lockdown on the greater Gaborone region will be lifted at midnight today”, said the official.

Botswana has reported a total of 48 confirmed infections, one death and 24 recoveries. (Reporting by Brian Benza and Mfuneko Toyana; editing by Grant McCool)