Infectivity rate falls from 47 to 4 percent

MAMELLO SEBATANE

MASERU – While celebrating World Health (WHO) Day under the theme “Together we can reach a fairer and healthier world” the Minister of Health, Semano Sekatle, has expressed his appreciation to Basotho for working hard as a unit towards winning the fight against COVID-19.

He said that despite different challenges that were faced, especially by the health sector, Lesotho has managed to move from a high 47 percent infectivity rate to just four percent.

“As a country we have relied on importation of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and even vaccines because we do not produce them locally so our hope has been on observance of the safety precautions and regulations recommended by WHO against the spread of Coronavirus,” he said.

Sekatle revealed that Africa needs at least 17 percent of the already available and approved vaccines to combat the virus but it has only accessed two percent.

He indicated further that economic and political disparities regarding the distribution of vaccines around the world should be a wake-up call to Basotho.

“Initially, we had expected the first batch of vaccines that would cater for almost 20 percent of the population, instead Lesotho received only 36 000 vaccines,” he said warning the public that the battle is not over yet therefore they should continue to observe all safety regulations against COVID-19.

He said that more vaccines are however expected in the country next month.

Meanwhile, government’s more stringent policy on movement into and out of the country in the run-up to the Easter holidays seems to have paid dividends in curbing the spread of COVID-19 compared to the Christmas season.

This followed a recommendation from Prime Minister Moeketsi Majoro last week that Basotho resident outside Lesotho should avoid coming back home for the Easter holidays unless they are obliged to.

NACOSEC’s risk communications manager, Baroane Phenethi, says that this achievement is owed to Basotho because of their co-operation during the annual holiday.

“Basotho listened and they did as requested. Almost 80 percent of them who crossed into the country during this recent Easter holiday had already tested for COVID-19 because they were able to produce their certificates at the border,” he said. He added that at least 13 people tested COVID-19 positive from all legal ports of entry into Lesotho.

Asked about rumours of a possible lockdown owing to the anticipated third wave of COVID-19, Phenethi said Lesotho’s COVID-19 status remains controllable despite the upcoming winter season and possible third wave of infections, therefore, there is currently no reason to impose a national lockdown as yet.

 

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