Army to enforce Covid regulations

Army to enforce Covid regulations

MASERU-THE government says it will deploy the army and police to enforce Covid-19 regulations following a dramatic surge of infections countrywide.

The announcement was made by Prime Minister Moeketsi Majoro on Lesotho Television on Tuesday night.
Majoro also announced that the government was shutting down schools as Covid-19 positive cases spike.
This is the second time this academic year that schools have been shut down.

The government initially shut down schools at the beginning of April during the first lockdown but reopened in August for students who were to write their end of year examinations.
The dramatic announcement did not come as a surprise after Lesotho recorded 9 more deaths to take the total of those who have died due to Covid-19 to 73 as of yesterday.
There have also been 260 new infections in the last seven days, taking the cumulative figure of infections to 3 914.

Majoro said the soldiers and police will soon be deployed on the streets to ensure Basotho comply with the Covid-19 regulations.
Majoro said the government was restricting most social and economic activities to contain the pandemic.
He said the government has been shocked by the surge in new Covid-19 infections.

Majoro said despite doing everything to sensitise the nation about the deadly disease and begging them to adhere to the regulations, some people were continuing to flout the regulations.
They were therefore putting the lives of those close to them at risk, he said.
That is why the government was now roping in security institutions to help enforce the regulations across the country.

Those who will defy the new regulations will be arrested and prosecuted, he said.
“They should be arrested with immediate effect and then sentenced very quickly,” Majoro said.
Under the new lockdown regulations, social and economic activities will be restricted.

For instance, the number of passengers in public transport has also been reduced while hair salons will be shut down.
Only those writing their Junior Certificate and Form E students who will be sitting for their end-of-year exams will be permitted to attend classes.
Bars have also been shut down.

Public gatherings have also been outlawed unless they are to talk about Covid-19 issues. Recreational areas such as swimming pools and gyms have also been restricted.
It would also be illegal for workers to embark on any form of industrial action such as picketing and demonstrations.
Religious gatherings have also been banned unless they are virtual.
The number of those attending weddings has also been restricted to five while the number of those attending funerals has been set at 10.

Majoro said Cabinet met on Tuesday to discuss if there should be a complete lockdown or a blend of a lockdown with tighter restrictions.
He said schools will be closed starting yesterday. He said they are doing so to save the lives of students as the pandemic has proven to be more lethal than before.
“We now have a more dangerous and lethal pandemic and we have to flatten the curve of infections,” he said.

Majoro urged Basotho to take care of themselves adding that most families have been affected by the pandemic.
“We advised in the previous days but we see people’s behaviour is not changing for the better and mortuaries are now overloaded,” Majoro said.
He said mortuary owners are complaining of the overload brought by Covid-19 deaths.

“Both clinics and hospitals are full,” Majoro said.
“I appeal to you that you should know how to protect yourselves.”
He said they have also decided to impose a curfew starting from last night. He said they do not expect to see people walking on the streets before 5am and after 8pm.
“Do not leave your house before 5am and you should be back before 8pm,” Majoro said.

Nkheli Liphoto

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