This virus is real

This virus is real

WITH effect from 12 midnight tonight, our giant neighbour, South Africa, will be on a 21-day lockdown. All shops and non-essential businesses will grind to a halt.
The drastic measure, which follows a pattern adopted by other countries that have so far successfully fought the virus, is unprecedented.
President Cyril Ramaphosa says the decision is meant to slow down the spread of new cases of the deadly Covid-19 disease that has so far killed over 15 000 people while infecting over 400 000 worldwide.

The pandemic has wreaked havoc on economies while triggering panic and pandemonium in society.
While the world is in panic mode, it would appear it is still largely business as usual for most of us here in Lesotho.
Of course Prime Minister Thomas Thabane declared a national emergency over the Covid-19 outbreak last week. That was well and good.
Yet we still sense more of prevarication over how to deal with the pandemic particularly on the issue of gatherings.
The Prime Minister suggested that he will “meet” the church leadership to discuss the way forward.
That was disappointing.

The people are expecting leadership and a sense of forthrightness on how they can keep themselves safe. Our very survival as a people is at stake.
As we have learnt elsewhere, the key to fighting the disease lies in practising better hygiene by encouraging everyone to sanitise or wash their hands as well as social distancing.
With South Africa now on lockdown, it follows that Lesotho, which is entirely surrounded by its neighbour, must also shut its borders and order everyone off the streets.
A total lockdown might work to contain the spread of the virus to these shores.

Those will be drastic measures but they must be implemented for the good of everyone. The reasons are simple: it is no longer a question of “if” but “when” we shall have the first case of Covid-19. That is because South Africa is only a stone’s throw away from Lesotho.
We shudder to think what would happen to Lesotho, with its rickety health delivery system, in the event of a disease outbreak.
Having seen how the pandemic has overpowered strong nations such as Italy and China, we seriously doubt that we have the capacity to handle a crisis of that magnitude.
Thank God, the delay in the spread of the disease in Lesotho has given us enough time to put our house in order.
The people still need reassurances from the government about the state of preparedness. They are wondering if we have enough ventilator machines. They are worried if we have enough masks and gloves.

They are concerned whether our nurses and doctors, who will be at the frontline in fighting the disease, have been well prepared to take on the pandemic.
The people are worried if our nurses and doctors have been fully equipped so that they can effectively deal with a Covid-19 patient.
These are pertinent questions that must be answered. The government needs to communicate this message clearly if the people are to be reassured that all is well.
So far, there is panic in our communities.

While all this is going on, our political leadership appears totally fixated by politics especially after Thabane prorogued Parliament last week.
Our politicians are still meeting in groups of more than 50 to scheme who takes over from Thabane.

That is not cool.
We have a national emergency that requires that all politicians place their hands on the deck and focus on our survival as a people.
This virus is real.

 

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