Mbabane: Minister of Health Lizzie Nkosi says the country is now within the second wave of COVID-19 infections.
Addressing the media on Friday, December 11, 2020 at the cabinet offices Nkosi said all signs show that Eswatini have now begun the second wave and therefore this means the public cannot for a minute let guards down lest lose more lives.
Nkosi pleaded with all Emaswati to continue observing all the necessary precautions to prevent the spread of COVID-19 which has claimed the lives of over 1.5 million people across the world. The Kingdom of Eswatini have reported 6 633 confirmed COVID-19 cases and 126 deaths as of December 11, 2020.
Minister Nkosi highlighted that health workers have faced this pandemic head-on and faced the brunt of the fight. “On behalf of His Majesty’s Government, I would like to share my gratitude for the sterling work that the health care workers execute daily,” Nkosi said.
“As we head into the festive season, I remind us all to stay strong and fight COVID19 by strictly adhering to all precautionary measures. Please take care of yourself and everyone around you at home or in public spaces. We can do this. There is no room for complacency,” said Nkosi.
Minister Nkosi thanked Emaswati for the continued prayers and messages of support to the Prime Minister, Ambrose Mandvulo Dlamini and his family as he continues to receive medical support. Nkosi said His Excellency continues to respond well to treatment. “We request Emaswati to continue praying for His Excellency’s full recovery.”
The Minster added that a glimmer of hope has emerged as we approach the close of 2020. The release of results for successful COVID-19 vaccine trials and approvals by regulatory authorities has provided new ammunition in the fight against COVID-19.
Nkosi said the country do have a team focused on developing the vaccine introduction plan and is consistently engaging with the global vaccine facility (COVAX) to ensure that gets access to the COVID-19 vaccines for the priority groups. “Our focus is to save lives and hence the vaccine will be first administered to health workers and those at highest risk of death from COVID-19.”
The Minister reminded all EmaSwati to stay strong and fight COVID-19 by strictly adhering to all precautionary measures:
1. Wear a mask consistently and correctly. This protects others from getting infected, which eventually protects you as an individual.
2. Wash your hands with soap and running water for at least 20 seconds or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer to clean your hands. Keeping the hands clean is essential because hands carrying the coronavirus easily transmit the virus into the body when you touch your eyes, nose or mouth.
3. Watch your distance by making sure that you keep at least 1 metre away from another person. The greater the distance, the less the chances of getting infected by an infectious person.
4. Avoid the “Three Cs”:
a. Closed spaces with poor ventilation,
b. Crowded places with many people near each other and
c. Close-contact settings such as close-range conversations.
A combination of these 3 Cs, results in a high transmission of the virus.
5. Opt for the outdoors, this is always better than indoors. Should there be a need to hold a function, it should be in line with COVID-19 regulations.
Those with symptoms such as fever, cough and difficulty breathing should seek medical attention immediately at their nearest health facility.
Isolation of those confirmed with COVID-19 infection is key to stopping further transmission of the virus. Stay home and self-isolate once you have been swabbed, especially if you have symptoms of flu such as cough, headache, mild fever, until you recover.