Travellers Warned Against Coming to Botswana

  • Botswana, Louisiana have the highest infection rates in the world
  • Reuters data has Botswana, Namibia and South Africa as the world’s worst for COVID infections


Travellers have been warned against coming to Botswana amid the country’s escalating COVID-19 infection rate that this week became the highest in the world.

In an interview with CNN, professor of medicine at The George Washington University, Dr Jonathan Reiner, revealed that Botswana and Louisiana in the United States top the list of areas that have the highest infection rates in the world. Both Botswana and Louisiana have an infection rate of 90 people per 100 000. Louisiana has recorded a total of 98 639 positive cases of COVID-19 while the latest Botswana COVID-19 report shows that the country has to-date recorded a total of 130 771 positive cases.

Out of the positive cases recorded, 1 832 have succumbed to COVID-19 complications while 111 411 have recovered. “The COVID-19 viral load is so substantial in Florida (US) but there are two places on the planet that are worse,” Dr Reiner said. “These places are Botswana and Louisiana.”

Reiner’s warning is buttressed by the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (CDCP) that is warning against travelling to Botswana amid “very high” levels of COVID-19 in the country. “If you travel to Botswana, make sure that you are fully vaccinated before you travel,” says CDCP in its website. “Because of the current situation in Botswana, even fully vaccinated travellers may be at risk of getting and spreading COVID-19 variants. Travellers should follow recommendations or requirements in Botswana, including wearing a mask and staying six feet apart from others.”

Dr Reiner’s warning comes a few weeks after data from Reuters also declared Botswana as the most dangerous country in terms of infection rates. The news agency placed Botswana on top of the list, followed by Namibia and South Africa. Reuters data indicated that Botswana has 378 positive cases per 100 000. The high infection rate was attributed to a decline in vaccine roll out and delays in delivery of vaccines.

As of 2 August 2021, Botswana has fully vaccinated 128 738 while 241 888 people got the first dose.

However, in a recent interview concerning reports that Botswana tops the list of countries with the highest infection rates in the world, the Assistant Minister of Health and Wellness (MoH), Sethomo Lelatisitswe, told this publication that the reports could be wrong.