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Covid-19 cases spike

Limpho Sello

LESOTHO has recorded a sharp spike in Covid-19 cases in the last month, newly appointed Disaster Management Authority chief executive officer, Thabo Khasipe, has said.

The country had by yesterday recorded 1507 Covid-19 positive cases up from 1051 on 24 August 2020.

Mr Khasipe said this in an interview with the Lesotho Times yesterday. He said the increase may require the country to implement more restrictive measures.

“We have recorded a recent spike in infections and this may call for more restrictive measures to be implemented,” Mr Khasipe said.

“The spike is a major deviation from recent trends…”

The latest figures reflect that nearly a third of all the total cases was recorded in the month since 24 August to 23 September alone.

The increase comes a month after Prime Minister Moeketsi Majoro had announced the easing of restrictions by allowing bars, churches, salons and schools to open.

The Prime Minister had justified the easing of restrictions on the decrease of new infections. The latest statics however paint a different picture.

Mr Khasipe said if the upward trend continues, they would be forced to advise the government to re-introduce some restrictions.

“It is clear that the easing of restrictions on 24 August has worked against us… Complying with restrictions against gatherings seems to be the biggest problem.

“This increase requires us to be vigilant and to adequately follow safety guidelines. The World Health Organisation (WHO) requires countries to at least register five percent positivity rate for a continuous two-weekly period to be categorised as stable, and Lesotho is no way in that category as per the recent statistics.”

He said they were working with different ministries to improve the country’s healthcare system, the priority being to prevent “needless deaths by preventing and containing the spread of Covid-19”.

Mr Khasipe said they were now working hard to ensure that they flatten the Covid-19 infection curve before the onset of the festive season where there would be larger volumes of people travelling in and out of the country as well as inter-district travel.

By yesterday, Lesotho had tested 18 122 specimens. Of the 257 new results released yesterday, a staggering 83 were positive bringing the total to 1507.

The country has so far recorded 766 recoveries and 35 deaths.

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