Lesotho reports first case of Covid-19

Lesotho reports first case of Covid-19

MASERU-LESOTHO, which until this week had remained Covid-19 free, recorded its first case of the disease on Tuesday sparking panic in the small country of 2 million people.

The announcement by the chairman of the National Covid-19 Command Centre, Chief Thesele ’Maseribane, shattered the false sense of security that Lesotho seemed to enjoy since the pandemic broke out.

The patient is a Mosotho student who was studying in Saudi Arabia.
The student travelled from Saudi Arabia, through South Africa, before arriving in Lesotho. It was however not clear whether he arrived in Lesotho before the lockdown was imposed on March 31 or after.

Minister of Health Nkaku Kabi said the patient was discovered during random screening conducted on travellers who were coming from South Africa.

The Ministry of Health said it conducted 81 tests on the travellers and out of these one case tested positive.
The patient did not show any signs of the disease.
There are fears that an outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic in Lesotho could quickly overwhelm the country’s weak health delivery system.
Despite Prime Minister Thomas Thabane declaring a state of emergency in March, the country’s preparations still appeared patchy.

The country does not have the capacity to test for Covid-19 and sends its samples for testing to Bloemfontein, South Africa, some 140km away.
To date, 597 specimens have been sent for testing in South Africa and 295 have tested negative while 301 are still pending.

“The Ministry of Health will continue to carry out active case finding through vigilant screening and testing all the suspected cases at all designated points of entry, at the health facilities and in the communities, as well as monitoring of those on home quarantine,” the statement reads.
The ministry also pleaded with the public to calm down, be vigilant and maintain safety protocols to minimize the spread of the virus.

The ministry encouraged everyone to wash hands with soap and running water, observe coughing and sneezing etiquette, follow quarantine measures and adhere to the set terms of the lockdown to reduce the possible spread of the disease.

Nkheli Liphoto

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