Monday, April 6, 2020

Swaziland Govt steps up search for coronavirus victims, nurses say they still lack vital equipment

The Ministry of Health in Swaziland (eSwatini) is sending teams of people door-to-door to check if people have the coronavirus.

The kingdom is currently in partial lockdown with many businesses closed and travel severely restricted.

Minister of Health Lizzie Nkosi told a press briefing on Monday (6 April 2020), ‘As of last Saturday, the Ministry went out on an active case finding. That means we sent team of people out to come knock on your door, call you, come and check you and see if you have a fever and check your family as well. We are still following a number of people that arrived into the country between the 24 and 26 March.’

About 2,000 people are expected to be visited. The population of Swaziland is about 1.3 million and the vast majority live in rural areas.

Nkosi also said there had been a tenth confirmed case of coronavirus (COVID-19) in Swaziland. This was a woman aged 31 who had been in South Africa. So far there are no reported deaths in the kingdom.

Meanwhile, Bheki Mamba, President of the Swaziland Democratic Nurses Union (SWADNU) said the E100million approved by the Swazi Parliament to fight the coronavirus had not been spent. He said the situation in public hospitals where doctors, nurses and workers were without basic protective equipment such as masks, gowns and gloves was critical. 

Mamba told the Swaziland News, an online newspaper, ‘The situation is getting worse in the various hospitals and might reach a critical stage without the money being made available to buy the necessary equipment. It should be noted here that we are owing the suppliers and definitely, they will demand that government pay upfront before they supply the equipment. 

Another major challenge is that, we might not be able to manage the situation as it reaches the critical stage because we don’t have enough quarantine space, Intensive Care Units (ICU) are less than 10 around the country with no relevant equipment.

The Swaziland Ministry of Health issued the following details about the confirmed coronavirus cases on 6 April 2020.

See also

Number of passengers in private cars in Swaziland to be restricted during coronavirus crisis

More businesses in Swaziland to close as Govt tightens coronavirus lockdown

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