An article claiming that Botswana President Mokgweetsi Masisi had tested positive for Covid-19 went viral last week on social media networks, including in Zimbabwe.
facts & fiction by ZIMFACT
The report was carried by the little-known website News NT. According to the report: “Botswana’s President Mokgweetsi Masisi has tested positive for Covid-19, the presidency has said in a statement on Tuesday afternoon.”
This is false. No such statement was issued by the Botswana government, on Tuesday, or on any other day.
It had been announced on March 22, 2020, that Masisi had gone into self-isolation after returning from Namibia, which at the time had reported three cases of coronavirus.
On Wednesday, the Botswana government responded through its verified platforms to the fake news. Masisi was yet to take a test, the government said.
“The public is alerted to misinformation posts on social media and reminded that as announced in the Press release of 22nd March 2020, His Excellency the President Dr Mokgweetsi Masisi will only be tested for SARS-CoV-2 (Covid-19) prior to being cleared at the expiry of the 14-day self-isolation. His Excellency the President is in good health and continues to work from his official residence but quarantined away from his family. The Office of the President is the only source of official information on this issue and any other media masquerading as having information on the health of His Excellency the President must be ignored.”
Reports that Botswana’s President Masisi had tested positive for coronavirus are false. He has not been tested. He will only be tested at the end of his 14-day period of self-isolation, according to the Botswana government.