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Majoro asked to probe COVID-19 deaths

Prime Minister Dr Moeketsi Majoro


Feb. 5, 2021 3 min read

3 min read


A GROUP of members of the public dubbed ‘Concerned Citizens’ has called on Prime Minister Dr Moeketsi Majoro to urgently establish an independent public inquiry to probe the more than 90 COVID-19 related deaths recorded in the past month.

The outfit says it is worried that if the government does not step in, the death toll will keep increasing and the situation will soon get out of control.

The public inquiry, the group believes will yield valuable lessons that can be applied immediately to prevent further deaths while also ensuring accountability on the part of the government.

“The Prime Minister might be aware that health experts have warned that South Africa faces a high risk of a third COVID-19 resurgence from May to June this year. It is important that Lesotho, which is completely surrounded by South Africa, should take lessons from the current crisis if the country wants to ensure that the anticipated third wave does not have the same devastating effects as the second one.  

“It will be very disappointing if Lesotho’s response to the third wave is found wanting,” the group said in a letter written to Dr Majoro on Friday.

The independent inquiry, the letter said will look into the capacity of the identified COVID-19 isolation centres and how the facilities operate in terms of the services they offer to patients under their care.

The probe, the group also said will among others also analyse the kind of support that is available to staff in government-run hospitals.

The analysis will further determine whether or not essential tools such as the Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) are sufficient while also assessing the robustness of the test and trace programme.

The letter added: “Although it is not for us to determine the outcome of such an inquiry, we believe it will deliver findings and crucial lessons within a month that will be applied immediately to save lives as the pandemic continues.”

The body also noted that the inquiry should be led by medical doctors nominated by the Lesotho Medical Association (LMA), nurses selected by the Lesotho Nursing Association (LNA), lawyers earmarked by the Law Society of Lesotho and representatives of youth-led civil society organisations.

The inquiry’s evidence-based recommendations which will guide the national response to the pandemic, the group also said should be binding to the government.


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“We believe the inquiry will not accomplish its purpose if its recommendations will not be binding to whomsoever they will be directed to as they may easily be ignored, thereby rendering the whole inquiry futile,” it further showed.

Lesotho recorded its first COVID-19 related death on July 9, 2020. On December 28, 2020, almost six months after the first mortality was recorded, the country had recorded 51 deaths.

During the past four weeks, the number of COVID-19 deaths increased tremendously.

As of January 31, a total of 172 people had reportedly died from various COVID-19 related complications in Lesotho.

By the same date, the country had recorded a total of 8 664 positive cases, 2 552 recoveries and 5 940 active cases.

 

 

 

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