Mbabane: As South Africa is experiencing a rapid growth in the number of new COVID-19 cases, Eswatini is more likely to be hit by the anticipated third wave in short space of time due to the human mobility between the two countries.
According to a ministerial statement issued by the Minister of Health Lizzie Nkosi, South Africa is experiencing community transmission of the B1.1.7 variant which was first detected in United Kingdom. Nkosi said though local samples have not yet shown this variant present in Eswatini but it’s only a matter of time it is detected locally due to high human mobility between the two countries.
Nkosi said the ministry was noting that South Africa was also experiencing new cases of the B.1.617.2, though the cases were a bit low but had a potential to grow rapidly.
Nkosi said for the past weeks, South Africa noted an increase in new infections driven by steady increase new cases which had a potential to usher in the third wave of the coronavirus infections.
Nkosi said for the past waves, Eswatini is 4-6 weeks behind South Africa in transmission patterns and the ministry was therefore monitoring the situation closely.
Another issue that might usher the country to the third was that Emaswati studying in India and surrounding countries will be returning home as cases in that country are soaring high every day.
Nkosi said the students will be arriving in the country in the next couple of days. The minister said the students will be tested before leaving the respective countries and will be put into quarantine upon arriving in Eswatini.
According to the latest COVID-19 updates, as of Friday, May 14, 2021, the country recorded 14 new cases which led to the total number of cases to stand at 18 511. The number of active cases stood at 47 as 17 793 people have recuperated from the coronavirus infection.