Botswana reports single COVID-19 death, first in four months

Botswana reported a single COVID-19 death Monday, the southern African country’s first in four months, Botswana’s health authorities confirmed.

The death occurred in Jwaneng, a mining township about 200 km southwest of Gaborone, the capital of Botswana, which has been the hardest hit by the nationwide resurgence of cases, Christopher Nyanga, the spokesperson of Botswana’s Ministry of Health, told Xinhua in a telephone interview.

“A campaign to test more people in the Jwaneng area has been intensified following the recording of the related death,” said Nyanga.

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The development underlines the threat posed by the outbreak of new sub-variants of the COVID-19 Omicron variant — the sub-lineages of BQ. 1 and BQ. 1.1 — that has triggered Botswana’s related death count since the pandemic’s reemergence, according to Nyanga.

Botswana detected the new sub-variants of the COVID-19 Omicron variant earlier last month.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), the Omicron variant is of concern and remains the dominant variant circulating globally.

As of Monday, Botswana has recorded 328,190 COVID-19 cases and 2,787 deaths, with a 99.2 percent recovery rate.

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