Maseru – Lesotho’s Prime Minister Moeketsi Majoro on Wednesday said he had tested positive for COVID-19 following a “travel-related” test on Monday.
PM Majoro said he was in isolation and asymptomatic.
“May I advise anyone who has been in close contact with me recently to rush for PCR testing to ensure your safety,” the premier tweeted Wednesday.
In a statement, PM Majoro’s press attaché Mr Buta Moseme said his boss’s oxygen saturation and other key indicators were “satisfactory”, thus urging the public to “remain calm”.
He said had it not been for the routine post-travel test, PM Majoro may never have known his health status.
“The important message is that even when you are vaccinated, you should still follow WHO and Ministry of Health COVID-19 protocols at all times. Being vaccinated should not bring about reckless behavior as an infected person can infect other people who are not vaccinated,” Mr Moseme said.
Lesotho recorded 3,112 new COVID-19 infections from the beginning of May 2021 to August 10. The virus has so far killed at least 391 people.
The country had until early July received just 36,000 doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine. However, later that month, the United States delivered 302,400 Johnson & Johnson doses, which the government started administering last week. Another 108,000 doses of Johnson & Johnson jabs were delivered August 7. These were procured using the US$1 million donated by the Vodacom Foundation to the Lesotho government in April.
Health practitioners say the government needs to do more to encourage people to get vaccinated as public indifference to inoculation – and even testing – remains high. The country of more than 2.1 million has only conducted about 141,000 tests of which 13,845 have returned positive results.
“People have no information and they are relying on social media. This means they are not getting accurate and reliable information and this is why there is so much apathy. The public is hesitant because social media conspiracies,” said a nurse who declined to be identified in an interview with The Southern Times.
A doctor at a private clinic in Maseru said the national Covid-19 secretariat was failing to gather data in time.
“In the last month alone, we have seen over 100 patients who are COVID-19 positive but the secretariat has never collected our data,” he charged.