Swaziland (eSwatini) Prime Minister Ambrose Dlamini who tested positive for coronavirus has been airlifted to neighbouring South Africa for treatment prompting anger from prodemocracy activists in the kingdom.
Dlamini announced he had tested positive on 16 November 2020 and the government downplayed the seriousness of his condition. A local newspaper later reported he had been put into the intensive care unit at Mbabane Government Hospital.
On Tuesday (1 December 2020) Deputy Prime Minister Themba Masuku released a statement saying Dlamini had been transferred to an unnamed hospital in South Africa ‘to guide and fast track his recovery’. No other details about his condition were given.
The announcement prompted the Swaziland Solidarity Network (SNN), a group campaigning for democracy in the kingdom ruled by absolute monarch King Mswati III, to call on South Africa not to accept Dlamini into the country.
In a statement SSN said, ‘The Swazi Prime Minister is part of a government that has collapsed the country’s health system, turning it into a death waiting room for ordinary Swazis who cannot afford to go to South Africa or overseas for medical attention. He too should go to a hospital in Swaziland so that he can fully understand what Swazis go through every time they go to hospital.’
Since the coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis started in March heath care workers in Swaziland have been calling for protective equipment. They have threatened to take the government to court saying there is also an acute shortage of drugs in the kingdom.
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