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.
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