With the country going into lockdown last Friday in a bid to stop the spread of Covid-19, Botswana Red Cross have announced they are assisting the government with contact tracing.
Speaking exclusively to The Voice, Red Cross CEO Kutlwano Mukokomani explained this involves tracking down anyone who may have come into contact with one of the country’s six (as of Wednesday afternoon) confirmed Covid-19 cases after they started exhibiting symptoms of the virus.
Although he would not disclose the exact amount, Mukokomani confirmed they have since traced, tested and quarantined a number of such individuals.
“Our mandate prioritizes areas where health resources and credible health information are limited,” he said, adding his organisation has 10, 000 trained volunteers scattered around Botswana.
“When someone tests positive, we get information on the people he/she came into contact with from health professionals attending the patient. Then we trace them. Our advantage is that we have volunteers across the country and they can assist if other suspects travelled to other areas.”
Emphasising the readiness of their volunteers, the Red Cross honcho proudly told The Voice, “Our volunteers are trained in first aid services, safer access, Risk Reduction Techniques. They are also trained in camp management so they will be helping at quarantine sites to make sure logistics are done properly. In Shakawe we started with information dissemination about this virus and precautions.”
Mukokomani further revealed they have received protective clothing from the International Federation of the Red Cross and International Committee of the Red Cross to ensure their volunteers’ safety.
“We also got funding from our international partners to ensure we augment the Ministry of Health’s efforts to contain the spread of Covid-19,” he continued.
According to Mukokomani, arrangements have also been made with the Ministry to provide tents should the virus take hold and the quarantine areas become full.