Tuesday, March 31, 2020

Swaziland Ministry of Health only tests 80 of 1.3 million population for coronavirus


Only 80 people from the total population of 1.3 million people appear to have been tested for coronavirus through the Swaziland (eSwatini) Ministry of Health. 

Minister Lizzie Nkosi told a press briefing on Tuesday (31 March 2020) that a total of 80 tests had been sent by the Ministry of Health to neighboring South Africa for analysis. So far, nine people had been diagnosed as positive. She said 15 of the tests had not been dealt with. She had previously said that was because ‘priority for testing is being given to people who have travelled or have been in close contact with positive patients’.

She also asked people to prepare isolation rooms in their homes for relatives who had recently returned from coronavirus high risk countries. She said this was to ensure other family members were not exposed.

Elsewhere, Minister of Natural Resources and Energy Peter Bhembe announced that petrol and paraffin prices would decrease by 100 cents per litre and diesel prices would decrease by 80 cents per litre, effective Friday, 3 April, 2020.

The commercial city of Manzini was reportedly in chaos on Monday after new regulations restricting public transport to early mornings and late afternoons came into force. The eSwatini Observer reported 5,000 people were left stranded. 

Children of King Mswati III, the absolute monarch of Swaziland, were placed in isolation for 14 days when they returned to the kingdom after studying at schools and universities abroad. They have been tested for coronavirus and await the results.

Below are details of the people who have tested positive for the coronavirus. They were released by the Swaziland Ministry of Health on Tuesday.




See also

More than 40 arrested in Swaziland for defying coronavirus lockdown during first weekend

Swaziland Govt publishes coronavirus regulations
New offence of spreading coronavirus rumours in Swaziland carries possible five years jail time

Monday, March 30, 2020

More than 40 arrested in Swaziland for defying coronavirus lockdown during first weekend


At least 41 people from across Swaziland (eSwatini) were arrested for not obeying the coronavirus lockdown during its first weekend.

Chief Police Information and Communications Officer Superintendent Phindile Vilakati said nine had been charged under the Coronavirus Regulations just issued, three were arrested using the Disaster Management Act and the rest were charged under the Liquor Act. 

Some paid an ‘admission of guilt fine’ that ranged between E120 and E500 and others were due to appear in magistrates court on Monday (30 March 2020). Most of those were arrested after bottle stores were not closed at stipulated times. Bars have been closed completely.

New regulations were published on Saturday after Swaziland was placed on a partial lockdown for 20 days. The kingdom was already under a state of emergency.

On Monday Swazi Minister of Health Lizzie Nkosi told a press briefing there had been no new cases reported of coronavirus in Swaziland. The total reported so far is nine. There have been no deaths. She said tests had been sent to neighboring South Africa for analysis but some had been rejected because, ‘priority for testing is being given to people who have travelled or have been in close contact with positive patients.’

She added, ‘Government has hired 145 nurses and six doctors and will also be opening four more clinics at Lundzi, Mkhwakhweni, Zindwendweni and Maphalaleni to strengthen the country’s capacity to fight COVID-19. We are expecting that this week we should be able to add 110 nurses and nine doctors.’

The Ministry of Health is to test pupils and staff at a school in the Hhohho Region for coronavirus after a teacher tested positive. They have been asked to self-isolate until results are known.

Meanwhile, the government has received a donation of E4.5 million for the coronavirus fund from members of Business Eswatini

On Sunday Minister of Public Works Chief Ndlaluhlaza Ndwandwe announced that public transport would only be allowed operate from 5am to 9am and then again from 3pm to 7pm for the duration of the lockdown.



See also

Swaziland Govt publishes coronavirus regulations

New offence of spreading coronavirus rumours in Swaziland carries possible five years jail time

Swaziland coronavirus partial lockdown Day1 – P.M. statement

 King puts Swaziland into partial lockdown in bid to beat coronavirus. Army and police on standby
 
Swaziland King declares state of emergency over coronavirus. Schools closed, foreign travel suspended