Mbabane: Defiance and lack of vigilance from emaSwati has triggered Ambrose Mandvulo Dlamini’s led government to instil strict measures in Eswatini’s attempt to arrest promptly the spread of the deadly COVID-19.
After introducing lockdown measures, effected March 27 for a reported three weeks, allowing only essential services to operate- Eswatini somehow sneaked back to normal life from April 16. This unfortunately invited the wrath and spread of the novel virus with figures doubling from just 16 to 32 in a week.
When the PM announced the extension of the lockdown on April 16, albeit relaxed, emaSwati went back to normal life and the consequences were bad. Somehow, government was caught between saving a crumbling economy and saving lives.
In the extended relaxed partial lockdown, government allowed some business to resume operations, classifying those as non-essential but low risk in the spread of coronavirus which has infected more than 2.6 million across the globe and about 190 000 deaths.
According to PM Mandvulo, Eswatini was embarking on a robust drive to transform the economy and set this country on a path towards sustainable growth and stability.
“We need a strong and resilient economy to improve and sustain the livelihoods of EmaSwati and future generations,” the PM announced.
However, he noted that government’s efforts to reignite the economy will be a futile exercise if it does not confront this enemy which continues to wreak havoc across the world, causing panic and uncertainty.
The PM continued to say that the partial lockdown that began on March 27 changed the way of life and strained the economy, adversely affected business, health and education, and delayed Eswatini’s economic renewal drive.
In that period, the country saw positive COVID-19 cases increase by seven more during the partial lockdown.
When extending amid a relaxed partial lockdown, Eswatini lost the battle against combating the spread and revoking the non-essential businesses permits has come rather too late when the is already a feared local transmission. According to updates by the Minister of Health Senator Lizzie Nkosi, latest cases have no history of travel.
The battle against COVID-19 is already out of hands.
Sensing the danger on Thursday, government, through the Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Trade revoked some of the permits issued over the past week. Eleven businesses were specifically shutdown as of Friday midnight, April 24 and they include car dealerships, craft vendors, photographic studios, agents and consultants, dry cleaners and driving schools.
The Minister of Public Works and Transport Chief Ndlaluhlaza Ndwandwe was expected to make strict regulations regarding the flow of public transport effective Monday, April 27.
The reality is that government placed the cart before the horse in allowing a relaxed partial lockdown. The first lockdown was level one and rushing to level two, which was the relaxed lockdown, came too soon.
As it stands, it now a back and forth kind of scenario as from midnight today April 24, Eswatini will revert back the COVID-19 fight level one.
Discussion about this post