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Govt hopes for full compliance as lockdown clocks closer

Chief Thesele Maseribane, Communications Minister

March 29, 2020 3 min read

3 min read

The Minister of Communications, Science and Technology and also Chairperson of Sub-Committee of Cabinet Ministers on COVID-19 says all legal processes have been completed to operationalize measures taken by government to protect Basotho against the virus. This, Chief Thesele 'Maseribane said on Saturday during a press briefing at the Command Centre where he said a government gazette declaring COVID-19 as state of emergency has been issued and it is effective from today. He reminded the nation that key amongst the measures is a decision to reduce to the extent all unnecessary and avoidable movement of people, maintenance of social distancing and observance of hygiene protocols that include regular washing of hands with soap and running water among others.

He called on Basotho saying it is imperative to abide as government will deploy security forces across the country however reminding them that it is one's sole responsibility to keep well and safe from this pandemic.

Chief 'Maseribane went on to divulge that there are three suspected cases reported which he said are yet to be verified citing that two are from Mafeteng while one is from Queen 'Mamohato Memorial Hospital adding that samples have therefore been taken to South Africa for testing. He added that in Leribe there is yet another suspected case which is also yet to be verified.

Additionally he said there were reports that at Tlhanyaku in Mokhotlong district there were illegal crossing cases which caused panic to villagers saying therefore that the National Command Centre deployed the District Administrator, police and members of the army to address the situation.

The Chairperson went on to inform that all structures at the National Command Centre have been put in place and are up and running saying it is at the centre where accurate and official information regarding COVID-19 will be disseminated and issued to the public regularly through press releases and live press conferences. In addition meetings have been held with different sectors including political party leaders.

He mentioned that similarly at district level, Command Centres have been established and running cascading down to the community level adding that on Tuesday next week teams of Ministers will be deployed to all districts to ensure work is done.

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He indicated that the consignment of equipment to fight the virus from Jack Ma Foundation and the Alibaba Foundation which arrived in the country on Thursday night has been thoroughly tested and certified by the team of experts to ensure quality before its distribution highlighting that the equipment is due for distribution throughout the country.

Chief 'Maseribane expressed appreciation to the role and contribution of the local private sector during this difficult time particularly Matekane Group of Companies (MGC), Global Fund and Econet Lesotho who have already donated commodities that include sanitizers, face masks, gloves and surface sanitizers. He indicated that more support is expected from other business community.

On one hand, he stated that all line ministries are expected to present their ministerial preparedness programmes in regard to lockdown with immediate effect adding that government will provide free spectrum for all radio stations to reach a wider population during this time of global crisis.

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