TEBOHO KHATEBE MOLEFI
MASERU – The Maluti Mountain Brewery (MMB) has announced cessation of operations effective March 30 until April 21 in the wake of government’s declaration of a national lockdown amid the spread of COVID-19 worldwide – enforcing the closure of businesses and curtailing of people’s movement, with the exception of essential services.
A statement from the MMB notes that alcohol trade has not been listed as an essential service and that all manufacturing and trade will have to cease during the lockdown period, highlighting that the declaration explicitly orders that there should be no sale of alcoholic beverages at this time.
“As a result of government’s directive the MMB will be shutting down production, distribution and sales operations for the duration of the lockdown, however, most of our employees will be available online and on call for business interaction you may need during this time,” the statement reads. Full services are expected to be restored on April 22, as may be permitted by government. During the 21-day lockdown residents are allowed to seek essential medical, banking and energy services as well as to buy food, and emergency responders and security agencies’ staff are exempt from the lockdown.
Public transport is similarly operational between 0600hrs and 1000hrs and again between 1500hrs and 1800hrs, though with reduced passenger loads. The following essential services will remain operational: Health, security, banking, grocery shops, pharmacies, water, power and fuel; all social gatherings are banned except for funerals where not more than 50 people are expected to attend.
All forms of entertainment and sporting activities have been stopped; unnecessary trips outside the country should be curtailed. All people currently visiting other countries must remain in the host countries except for those who are transporting medical and other essential services.
Media houses and journalists who peddle wrong or misleading information about COVID-19 have been cautioned with possible prosecution and their media houses might face closure. Where loss of life occurs in relation to COVID-19 government will be guided by WHO regulations and Public Health Order of 1970.