Mbabane: His Majesty King Mswati III has encouraged emaSwati to act responsibly and aggressively fight the COVID-19 pandemic.
The monarch was addressing the nation on COVID-19 for the first time ever since the first confirmed case was reported in March.
The King was speaking from Ludzidzini Royal Residence on Thursday and he stressed that emaSwati should always follow the precautionary measures to prevent contracting the deadly virus which is relentlessly killing people in scores worldwide. His Majesty encouraged emaSwati that they should always wash their hands with soap and water, use hand sanitisers, keeping social distance (one metre), avoiding shaking of hands and staying at home if there is no pressing need that requires one to move out.
The King reminded emaSwati about the deadliness of the disease, judging by the reported number of people who have lost their lives worldwide. “The coronavirus is a killer diseases and therefore emaSwati are urged to make sure that they strictly follow the laid down precautionary measures to prevent the disease and observe the COVID-19 regulations enacted by government. He went on to say: “Every liSwati should act responsibly in protecting himself against contracting the disease and make sure that he doesn’t spread it to the next person. This can be done by always putting on a face mask, washing of hands, keeping social distance and avoiding shaking hands.” He also encouraged the nation to fumigate their homes and work places as a preventative measure. “I hope almost all emaSwati are familiar with kuchela (fumigating) at their homesteads when they are attacked by evil spirits, hence they should make sure that they continue doing kuchela even during this fight against the killer disease.
His Majesty said countries like Taiwan have managed to contain the spread of the disease because they are always using face masks. He acknowledged that the outbreak has hugely destabilized the country economically and socially. The King said the COVID-19 outbreak will definitely cripple the country’s economy more so because it hit a time when it (economy) was yet to pick up.
The King then commended emaSwati for acting responsibly by taking heed to government’s command of the partial lockdown and stayed home. The monarch said the lockdown was not meant to frustrate people but was for a good course of protecting them against the virus. “In many countries, people have been killed and are continuing to die,” he said.
He reiterated that people should continue staying at home, adding that the disease will come to pass but we should continue to observe the COVID -19 regulations and the precautionary measures. “We need a healthy nation that will come back in full force to resuscitate the economy,” he said.
The King went on to say while government has announced a relaxed lockdown, people should not be carried away and then forget to observe the precautionary measures at their work places. Other than the use of sanitisers, the king employers should always provide toilet tissue for employees to use when touching door handles to avoid contracting the disease. He suggested same should be used by those using lifts.
Regarding the number of cases in the country, the King said it was gratifying to note that the numbers were not so alarming but was quick to urge health specialists to work extra hard in a bid to curtail the spread of the novel virus.
He also commended government for setting up a testing laboratory in the country, something that has cut costs of sending samples to South Africa. The King said that has gone a long way in testing people in the country. However, he warned health practitioners to be always cautious when handling those with the ailment so that they should not contract it in the process. With the rising numbers, the king encouraged emaSwati living in places with the high number of confirmed cases to consider going for testing voluntarily. “It is advisable that people should go for testing every two weeks as scientists say early treatment lessens the chances of severity,” he said.