Businesses warned over lockdown non-compliance

MATHATISI SEBUSI

MASERU – Businesses that will be found in contravention of prescribed safety measures to curb the spread of COVID-19 will be closed down with immediate effect. This is according to National Emergency Command Centre (NECC), set up as the local focal on the pandemic, which noted that it has come to their attention that some local Chinese-owned businesses were ignoring and failing to comply with the said prescribed measures – both with the handling of their staff and customers.

The NECC pointed out, among others, non-compliance with set precautionary safety measures such as observing social distancing and the provision of hand sanitizers for staff and customers. “At some Automated Teller Machines (ATM) people still queue in large numbers. The management of the National Emergency Command Centre (NECC) strongly appeals to bank authorities to ensure that social distancing and other safety measures prescribed by World Health Organisation (WHO) are observed accordingly in all banking halls.

The same applies to supermarkets and other essential services providers. NECC recommends proper use of masks and gloves as the wrong use could increase the spread of the virus,” said the NECC in a press statement released yesterday. NECC further revealed that the army and police’s presence is visible in many parts of the country to enforce the lockdown. “The army and police and other law enforcement agencies will be seen patrolling in different areas of the country particularly along the borders between Lesotho and South Africa.

Government has found it necessary to take these decisive steps of directing people to stay at home and to observe social distancing as the only option to save lives of Basotho.  The lockdown is not meant to punish people but to minimize the rate of infection of COVID-19 which is transmitted through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes,” NECC said.

The NECC also reminded the public that movement along the borders was restricted for people’s movement, with only essential goods and services will to be transacted. “The public is encouraged to be vigilant and maintain safety protocols to minimize the spread of the virus that is, wash hands with soap and running water, observe coughing and sneezing etiquette and follow quarantine measures,” NECC.

Following a global outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, that saw countries of the world resorting to cities’ shutdowns and lockdowns, Lesotho’s Prime Minister Motsoahae Thabane announced the country will go into lockdown, commending midnight March 29 to April 21. Thabane announced, among others, the banning of all social gatherings except for funeral where not more than 50 people are allowed and all forms of entertainment and sporting activities.

 

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