New suspected COVID-19 cases investigated

KANANELO BOLOETSE

MASERU – Communications Minister Thesele ‘Maseribane says the county has not recorded any coronavirus cases but is investigating three suspected cases.

“Today, as I address you there are three suspected cases reported which are yet to be verified, two are from Mafeteng, while one is from Queen ‘Mamohato Memorial Hospital. Samples have been taken to South Africa for testing,” ‘Maseibane said on Saturday.

He said there is another case in Leribe which is yet to be verified.

“On Thursday, there were reports that at Tlhanyaku, in Mokhotlong district there were illegal crossing cases, which caused panic to villagers and the National Command Centre deployed the District Administrator, Lesotho Mounted Police and Lesotho Defence Force to address the situation,” he said.

The World Health Organization (WHO) has declared a global pandemic over coronavirus which causes an illness known as COVID-19.

It has spread to at least 170 countries and territories, killing more than 22 000 people and infecting more than 480 000, according to Johns Hopkins University.

Although the pandemic has spread across the globe and Africa, Lesotho is still one of the fewest countries in the world with zero confirmed cases of COVID-19.

There have been more than 1 100 confirmed coronavirus cases in South Africa – the highest in Africa – with the number multiplying six-fold in just eight days, sparking concerns about Lesotho’s vulnerability to the contagious disease.

Lesotho is completely surrounded by South Africa.

In a televised address to the nation on Wednesday, Thabane said cabinet had decided to enforce a national lockdown from midnight Sunday, March 29, to April 21.

Funds have also been set aside to combat the disease.

‘Maseribane said: “My fellow country men and women, it is imperative to abide as government will deploy security forces across the country. However, let us all remember that it is one’s sole responsibility to keep well and safe from this pandemic.”

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