Mokhothu rules out national lockdown

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Mokhothu rules out national lockdown
Mokhothu rules out national lockdown

Africa-Press – Lesotho. The newly inducted government has launched its intentions going forward with the ongoing coronavirus battle in the country but another national lockdown is seemingly far from primary preventive options, despite confirmation of two cases.
Although an official detailed statement on the way forward is yet to be made by the Prime Minister (PM) Dr. Moeketsi Majoro, the Deputy PM Hon. Mathibeli Mokhothu has stipulated that the government will take quite an inclusive approach going forward.
The first thing they did after being inaugurated he said was to get progress reports from different departments that were already hands-on fighting this pandemic. This he said was for them to catch up and be in a better position to establish a strategy.
He cited that the government has scheduled to meet with the parliament, Senate, Christian Council of Lesotho (CCL), business community and other sectors of the public to get views on how this pandemic can be tackled going forward.
He stated that the official statement on the way forward will be made on Thursday. The pillars of their plan he said will be the Disaster Management Act (1997). Three focus areas he said are disaster management, relieve and post effects management plans.
He stated that they will work hard to manage borders as it has come to their attention that people come into the country illegally from South Africa (SA) posing a great risk to Lesotho.

Another issue that they will address he said is that of SA based Lesotho Citizens who are hungry and can’t access ARVs. He said a solid plan is in place and will engage the two Ministries, of Health and Foreign Affairs and International Relations for facilitation.
With Lesotho at two cases now following a month long lockdown that came to an end without a single case recorded, many people are wondering what it means now that there are confirmed cases.
Lockdown has been used as a preventive tool by countries with rapidly increasing new infections and Basotho are concerned about a possibility of another lockdown that will likely hit the country severely in terms of poverty and hunger since Basotho are already struggling to cope with the effects of the previous one.

However, Mokhothu allayed Basotho fears citing there will be no national lockdown but rather communities of locations that will seem to be recording highest numbers of new infections will be locked down and movement will be restricted.

He highlighted that Basotho will continue to go to work but under strict regulations to make sure that the virus is contained and people don’t die from hunger in the process.

Mokhothu also revealed that they have established a cabinet committee that is facilitating a two year coalition plan that will be announced in due course to let Basotho know what the new government will be doing for the two remaining years of the 10th parliament’s term.

Meanwhile, the Minister of Health Hon. Motlatsi Maqelepo stated that the efforts should now be focused on prevention and also minimizing infections since there are already cases in the country.

At worst he said one infected patient should infect one more person and not more than that. In the meantime he said attempts should be tightened at the borders to ensure that in and out movement is regulated and people are tested and quarantined when they get into the country.

He started that they will work together with the police and their networks down to village police and Chiefs to make sure that people who are told to self-quarantine are known and will be prohibited from moving around as it has happened with the latest confirmed patient who was reported to have left the quarantine point and mingled.

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