Gov’t backtracks on ‘no vaccine, no entry’ policy
The South African national who has been hospitalised in Botswana after reacting to a COVID-19 booster jab at a port of entry has died, the South African High Commissioner to Botswana, TP Shope-Soumah, has confirmed.
Bongani Mbongani was part of renowned rapper Siyabonga “Slikour” Metane’s crew that came to attend a creative workshop in Gaborone recently. After taking the compulsory vaccine, Mbongani was soon complaining of an intense headache and fainted.
“He got vaccinated and I think he reacted to the vaccination. We don’t know why he reacted but he died yesterday (last Thursday). The mother is here and I am going to console her and pay my last respects,” the SA High Commissioner said at the Tourism Trade and Investment Gauteng show in Gaborone.
Sources say he was rushed to Princess Marina Hospital where he was admitted in the intensive care unit. Mbongani was later moved to Gaborone Private Hospital where he was reported certified brain dead, having fallen into a coma.
Although it is not known if the two developments are related, the government issued a statement last Friday backtracking on its ‘no vaccination, no entry’ policy. The new changes at ports of entry now allow partially vaccinated or unvaccinated people to enter the country if they comply with the testing requirements.
It is only when not fully vaccinated and not willing to undergo COVID-19 testing at ports of entry that a traveller will be charged and/or fined or taken to a court of law.
“Due to discordant periods for taking booster shots between Botswana and other countries and for purposes of smoothening international travel, the definition of being fully vaccinated in Botswana will no longer include a booster shot,” the Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Health and Wellness, Christopher Nyanga, said in a media statement.
“Having completed the primary vaccine series will be considered sufficient for one to be allowed entry, without the need to present a negative PCR test result.”