Botswana’s long-standing alcohol abuse problem reemerged a day after lifting a lockdown ban.People wait in line to buy alcohol as Botswana lifts a lockdown lasting two months.
Botswana’s long-standing alcohol abuse problem reemerged a day after lifting a lockdown ban.
Just hours hours after Botswana’s coronavirus-responsive ban on alcohol sales was lifted, there are already calls for it to be reinstated.
The ban of alcohol and cigarettes sales was one of the more unusual features of Botswana’s strict lockdown imposed on March to stop the spread of Covid-19 infections in the African country which already has the highest number of confirmed cases on the continent.
On Wednesday the first day the ban was lifted saw long lines outside stores as Botswana stocked up. After more than two months of not being able to legally purchase their preferred tipple, Batswana came out en masse on the morning of the lifted ban; some lining up as early as three hours before shops officially opened.
Even while queuing, there was much jubilation from buyers with many posting videos of singing and dancing during what became a social engagement, hampered, only in a minor way by the wearing of masks and the practicing of social distancing. Excited shoppers reflected a diversity of ages, races and individual as well as registered vendors such as tavern owners.
Some of those who rushed out to buy booze wanted to do so in case the country experiences a surge of Covid-19 cases and returns to stricter restrictions.
South Africa, Sri Lanka, Botswana and Panama, were the only four countries in the world to implement a national ban on alcohol sales during lockdown.