Stop public gatherings-Deputy Health minister

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Nthatuoa Koeshe

THE public must desist from attending public gatherings which put them at the risk of contracting and spreading Covid-19, Deputy Minister of Health Nto Moakhi has said.

Mr Moakhi said this during a ceremony to handover personal protective equipment (PPE) donated by the Lesotho Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) to the Christian Health Association of Lesotho (CHAL) in Maseru on Tuesday.

Worth more than M63 000, the PPE is meant to be delivered to four nursing institutions operating under CHAL namely; Scott College of Nursing, Paray School of Nursing, Roma College of Nursing and Maluti Adventist College.

Mr Moakhi expressed worry that people were still gathering at public bars during weekends disregarding Covid-19 regulations which ban social gatherings. Trading of alcohol remains banned during weekends while nightclubs remain closed. Alcohol retailers are only allowed to sell take-aways as a way of deterring the gathering of patrons at bars.

“Even our health professionals and medical doctors are found in these places and if we continue like this, we will all die,” Mr Moakhi said adding, “I request that we start refraining from our normal practices until we have won the fight against Covid-19”.

Turning to the donation, he expressed gratitude to LCCI for its “humbling” gift.

“The idea of donating to nursing schools was a thoughtful one… This PPE will help the nursing students immensely because we are also expecting them to become front liners in fighting the pandemic.”

By Monday, Lesotho had recorded 1943 Covid-19 positive cases after testing 22 340 specimens. The country has also recorded 43 deaths and 975 recoveries.

LCCI member, Thuso Green said LCCI decided to donate to CHAL as a way of responding to challenges brought by covid-19.

“The donations were financed by the LCCI’s solidarity fund to assist nursing schools and we hope this will help them overcome some of their challenges,” Mr Green said.

For his part, CHAL acting executive director, Libete Selapane said some weight has been lifted off their shoulders because Covid-19 has exhausted all their funds.

“We are thankful to the LCCI for remembering us during these hard times. This equipment will be used sensibly. This donation shows that the private sector still trusts us because with news flying around that PPE donations are usually misappropriated; trust has been lost.”

A representative of the nurse educators, ‘Makhabiso Ramphoma said the unavailability of masks and gloves was almost threatening their training programmes.

“The donation will help us in a huge way because we had long exhausted our budget,” Ms Ramphoma said.

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