Lesotho expects COVID-19 vaccine in April

news-image

Maseru - The Lesotho government expects to take delivery of COVID-19 vaccines from April.

The Mountain Kingdom – like other countries across the Southern Africa region - has felt the sharp end of the second wave of the pandemic this year with cases more than doubling since January 1. At the start of the year, the country of 2,2 million people had recorded 3,206 cases and 65 deaths. The figures had reached 7,656 cases and 123 deaths by January 23.

PM Majoro recently said his government would set aside R240 million (US$15,8 million) to procure COVID-19 vaccines in addition to the free vaccines Lesotho expects to receive from the COVAX facility, a subsidised initiative to enable developing countries to access the treatment. COVAX will avail sufficient vaccines for 20 percent of the population in a participating country.

Lesotho also expects to benefit from a facility structured by the African Union and World Health Organisation.

National COVID-19 Secretariat risk communications manager, Mr Baroane Phenethi, told The Southern Times that regardless of the availability of vaccines, adherence to basics like mask-wearing, social distancing and good hygiene were central to curbing the spread of the new coronavirus.

“We are expecting (the vaccine) to be in the country starting from April. Any other developments will be announced by either the minister (of health) or Prime Minister Moeketsi Majoro,” Mr Phenethi said. “On top of (the doses) we are expecting from COVAX, the government will try to secure more vaccines that will be delivered along with the first batch in April.

“The numbers are increasing and people are dying. For now, all we can do is to sensitise people to take more precautions otherwise we will see more deaths.”

Lesotho held out against the virus for a long time and was the last country in Africa to record a first case. It reinstituted a lockdown on January 14,2021 after a sharp increase in infections and deaths. The lockdown entails the closure of all businesses that are deemed non-essential, among them bars, nightclubs, restaurants and vending stalls among others. 

Mr Phenethi expressed the government’s concern with lack of adherence to lockdown regulations and general health protocols by some Basotho.

“We have increased the number of deployments of security personnel in the villages to enforce the lockdown regulations but we will only know whether or not these measures have been successful when the report from the Ministry of Health has been published. Nevertheless, it is worrying that we have businesses clamouring to be allowed to start operating. Of course, people are hungry but they seem to be saying it is rather better to die of Covid-19 than die of hunger.”

A review of the lockdown is expected this week.

LEAVE A COMMENT

Comments

image

Poachers have broken into Botswana’s p Read more...

10 Aug, 2018 at 01:58 PM

image

In a sign that Botswana is likely to cli Read more...

02 Jul, 2018 at 09:26 AM

image

Gaborone - Poachers have broken into Bot Read more...

04 Feb, 2019 at 07:35 AM

image

DAR ES SALAAM - DIRECTIVES on online for Read more...

02 Jul, 2018 at 01:24 PM

image

SADC leaders meeting in Tanzania this we Read more...

19 Aug, 2019 at 01:51 PM

image

A batch of COVID-19 vaccines donated by Read more...

25 Feb, 2021 at 10:55 AM

image

South Africa remains at the forefront of Read more...

25 Feb, 2021 at 09:25 AM

image

President Hage Geingob on Wednesday said Read more...

25 Feb, 2021 at 09:21 AM

image

Namibian President Hage Geingob on Wedne Read more...

25 Feb, 2021 at 09:13 AM

image

Gaborone - The President of the Republic Read more...

24 Feb, 2021 at 03:15 PM

image

Lusaka - Amid myriad criticisms from soc Read more...

14 Dec, 2018 at 06:28 AM

image

Cape Town – Perhaps it is in the spiri Read more...

29 Mar, 2018 at 12:48 PM

image

Sharon Kavhu Windhoek - Namibian Minist Read more...

17 May, 2019 at 07:35 PM

image

In a sign that Botswana is likely to cli Read more...

02 Jul, 2018 at 09:26 AM

image

Harare- The newly formed SADC Basketball Read more...

05 Jun, 2020 at 12:57 PM