2 987 Basotho in self-isolation

2 987 Basotho in self-isolation

MASERU-ABOUT 2 987 people who crossed illegally into Lesotho from South Africa are under close observation to see if they will develop Covid-19 symptoms.
Chief Thesele ’Maseribane, who is the chairman of the cabinet sub-committee in the fight against Covid-19, told Parliament yesterday that thousands of Basotho had crossed illegally into the country.

He said those who have been identified are under self-quarantine.
“The district public health personnel is monitoring them,” he said.
“Active search and surveillance has been initiated by the Command Centre Analysis Cluster.”

’Maseribane said along the southern border in Quthing, near the villages of Dilli Dilli and Sixondo have been identified as hotspots for illegal crossing.
In Mokhotlong along the northern border, Tlhanyaku and Sani Pass were also identified as illegal crossing hotspots.

He said active search is continuing at the community level.
“Testing continues to be intensified at all health facilities,” he said.
’Maseribane said the national referral laboratory services are finalising the installation of testing equipment which has been donated by the World Health Organisation (WHO) to undertake testing locally.

He said the government will enable districts to deal with problems posed by Covid-19 including equipping them with isolation and quarantine facilities.
The facilities, he said, will have necessary specialis,ed equipment such as oxygen ventilators, patients’ monitors and beds.

He said nurses, doctors, village health workers and local government structures such as chiefs and councillors are also undergoing training.
About three weeks ago a top health official expressed concern about the possibility of transmission of the virus from Basotho travelling from South Africa through illegal border movements.

The Quthing district health director, Dr Mpeli Mokhahlane, told a state-owned Radio Lesotho’s current affairs programme that “we are unable to control the illegal crossing” at the Tele border gate.

Dr Mokhahlane said groups of Basotho who are working in South Africa’s Eastern Cape farms were frequently crossing the border to Lesotho despite the lockdown imposed in the two countries.
There are 4 996 confirmed cases of Covid-19 in South Africa. The disease has so far killed 93 people in South Africa.

Earlier this month, the police drove three people who had illegally crossed the border into the country to two clinics in Leribe to be checked for coronavirus.
Two were taken to St Rose’s Clinic in Peka while another was checked at Peka Clinic.

A week earlier there were reports of a group of people who had illegally entered the country from South Africa through Sani Pass in Mokhotlong.
At the time, the Lesotho Defence Force spokesman, Colonel Mashidi Mashidi, told thepost that much as the army is doing its utmost to guard the borders “we cannot succeed without the help of the public”.

Colonel Mashidi said it is the responsibility of every Mosotho to report such illegal crossing into the country because the army cannot be everywhere at the same time.
“It is true that we patrol the borders but it is impossible for us to be everywhere along the border at the same time,” Colonel Mashidi said.

Staff Reporter

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