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Majoro imposes tighter restrictions to fight Covid-19

Bereng Mpaki

PRIME Minister Moeketsi Majoro has re-introduced tighter restrictions including closing churches, banning prison visits and reducing the number of people allowed to attend weddings in a desperate attempt to stop the escalating Covid-19 infections in the country.

Addressing the nation on national television last night, Dr Majoro said although 359 infections and six deaths had been recorded by yesterday, the figures could be much higher due to inaccurate recording of cases.

“We are getting reports that indicate that the number of Covid-19 related deaths could be more than the official figures” Dr Majoro said.

“So, we are making arrangements with the funeral parlours and the Home Affairs ministry to ensure we get more accurate figures.”

He said the reproduction rate of the virus in Lesotho was 2.04, meaning that one infected person in turn infects more than two people. He said the ideal reproduction rate should be below one. In this scenario, an infected person would only infect one person.

“We are at 2.04 and it is possible to increase infections. One infected person infects two other people, who each infect two more and so on.

“In order to beat this virus, we must abide by the regulations that the government will soon announce. We are going to develop a gazette with effect from Monday (tomorrow) containing the new regulations.

“Schools, initiation schools, church gatherings, sporting activities except non-contact sports like golf will not be allowed. Political rallies remain banned; gyms, recreational parks should be closed.

“Protests, demonstrations and any public gatherings except to pass the Covid-19 message are banned. Where there are gatherings to pass the Covid-19 message, not more than 30 people will be allowed with 1.5-metre social distancing.

He said textile factories would remain open but worker s would have to work in day and night shifts to reduce the numbers of workers in contact with each other.

The number of people attending weddings has been reduced to just the bride, groom, just two other people and the pastor.

He said funerals should be held in open space attended only by family members and a maximum of 10 men to help with digging the grave. The funeral service and burial should be complete by 10 am.

“Our investigations have revealed infection is high in high concentration gatherings like funerals, wedding and church gatherings,” he said.

International trips remain banned expect where there are covid-19 related trips.

“We will work to ensure that those who cross the borders illegally are tested and quarantined until they are cleared of Covid-19.”

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