THE government appears to be fighting a losing battle as many service providers are refusing to heed its directive not to provide services to clients who have not been vaccinated against the Covid-19 virus.
The directive was initially announced last month by Health Minister Semano Sekatle. In his televised address, Mr Sekatle who said the government had resolved to introduce the compulsory vaccination of all eligible people as part of efforts to achieve herd immunity in the fight against the deadly pandemic.
All workers- be it in the civil service or private companies and organisations- would not be allowed to work if they were not vaccinated, the minister said.
In addition, all service providers were directed not to offer any services to people who were not jabbed against the virus.
Last week, Prime Minster Moeketsi Majoro echoed Mr Sekatle, saying there was no going back on the compulsory vaccination despite the criticism from some sections of the population who argued that the government directives were in violation of freedoms of choice.
The government went on to gazette the vaccination regulations and prescribed fines for non-compliance.
But all the tough talk and legal measures appear not to have had the intended effect.
Throughout the past week and over the weekend, surveys by the Sunday Express around Maseru showed that it was business as usual with many service providers ignoring the government directive not to offer services to the unvaccinated.
In addition, most of the workers interviewed indicated that their employers were not even demanding their vaccination cards in line with the government directive.
At some of the restaurants and entertainment venues, clients were allowed in to wine, dine and dance the night away without producing any vaccination cards.
The Seventh Day Adventist Clinic in downtown Maseru was one of the rare cases of compliance. This publication observed that the clinic had set up a tent where unvaccinated people were jabbed before being offered other services.
National Covid-19 Secretariat (NACOSEC) acting CEO Thabo Ntoi, said it was sad that many service providers continued to defy the government directive and regulations on unvaccinated people.
He said they would rope in the police because “those who are not complying with regulations have to be taken to task”.
He said the public had to understand that the measures were for their own benefit. He said vaccinating all the eligible people would protect them against serious illnesses and even deaths in the event of being infected by the virus.