Now the pandemic has worsened worldwide and health professionals work tirelessly to provide care for patients—some even returned from retirement to help provide assistance.
Lesotho doctors are not spared from this battle which has already killed at least 183 people in the country and millions across the globe.
But there is a significant progress that has been made by the health professionals in containing the deadly virus.
Maseru District Health Manager Dr Moseme Makhele says they went out to villages across the country to encourage people to test for COVID-19.
He says they started in Motimposo, Maseru after realising that there was a considerable number of people dying in that neighbourhood.
The campaign started on January 15 and is still continuing. It emerged that most of the people dying are aged between 26–50.
Initially, there was a dead end met as people were not keen to have their family members tested for the virus.
With the assistance of some Members of Parliament along with their committees of chiefs and councilors, Dr Makhele says they were able to make a breakthrough and eventually test people.
They were able to assist people who had mild symptoms of the virus but those who showed serious signs were ferried to the Mafeteng and Berea government hospitals, which have been designated as the quarantine centres.
At times, they would take some patients to St Joseph Hospital in Roma and the Makoanyane Military Hospital which have a capacity of 20 beds each.
Dr Makhele says with the assistance of the National COVID-19 Secretariat (NACOSEC), they were able to buy oxygen for the patients, adding that other patients were taken to Scott Hospital in Morija for treatment.
The sharp spike of COVID-19 related deaths in Motimposo according to Dr Makhele was triggered among others by large crowds of mourners attending funeral services.
This, he says has had a negative impact on the lives of people in the area.
Because some people do not want to disclose what has killed their family members, Dr Makhele says mourners would attend funeral services like normal, unaware that the deceased had in fact died from COVID-19 related complications.
Unfortunately, in such instances the deceased’s bodies would be treated like normal too.
The mourners, Dr Mokhele says would gather at the funeral services without putting on their masks and by doing so, spreading the virus.
Although the doctor does not have an exact figure of people who succumbed to the pandemic in Motimposo, he is however, adamant that the number is significant.
“What also fuels the spread of the virus in Motimposo is that most people live in small homes in large groups and there is poor circulation of air in such environments, hence settings like those become super spreaders of the virus,” he also notes.