Botswana has quarantined its entire cabinet including the president and all members of parliament after a health worker who was screening ministers and parliamentarians tested positive for the coronavirus.

The government officials and parliamentarians came into contact with the health worker when they were screened on Wednesday as they arrived at a meeting to discuss a request by President Mokgweetsi Masisi for an extended state of emergency.

President Masisi has called for a six-month state of emergency to confront the pandemic. 

Botswana’s constitution provides for a 21-day state of emergency, with parliamentary approval required for any longer period.

“All lawmakers, including the president, will go into quarantine from today,” Public Health Director Malaki Tshipayagae told lawmakers on Thursday. 

“You have to quarantine at home if you can or, if that’s not possible, we will find a place for you to be quarantined,” 

Tshipayagae said. 

“We will test you on the 14th day and if you are negative, allow you to go out of quarantine.”

Botswana’s confirmed number of coronavirus cases has doubled in the past week to 13.

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