20 CHAL staffers struck down by Covid-19



 …as more institutions continue to close down due to rising Covid-19 infections

Limpho Sello

AT least 20 health workers including nurses and support staff at various Christian Health Association of Lesotho (CHAL) run health centres are currently self-isolating at their homes after testing positive for Covid-19.

CHAL acting director, Libete Semapane, said the Covid-19 positive staffers are employed at four of their health facilities namely Tebellong Hospital in Qacha’s Nek, Emmaus Health Centre and Motsekuoa Health Centre (all in Mafeteng) as well as Scott Hospital in Morija.

Mr Semapane said the staffers tested positive during the just-ended festive season and all of them were currently self-isolating at their homes.

He said due to the staffers’ absence from work, the health facilities were short-staffed and they were not operating at full capacity.

“The infected staffers were sent home to self-isolate. We also traced those who had come into direct contact with them and these are also isolating while awaiting their Covid-19 test results which will tell whether or not they are infected,” Mr Semapane said in an interview this week.

Meanwhile a number of institutions have closed down due to soaring Covid-19 infections and deaths in the country.

The last update provided by the National Covid-19 Secretariat (NACOSEC) on 4 January 2021 put the number of Covid-19 infections in Lesotho to date at 3914 and the number of deaths at 65.

This represents a huge increase from the 3206 infections recorded three days earlier on 1 January 2021.

Some of the institutions that have suspended operations include the Lerotholi Polytechnic whose bursar, Leonard Masarurwa, died on Monday.

In statement this week, the polytechnic’s rector, Professor Spirit Tlal, said Mr Masarurwa “passed away after a short illness on 4 January 2021 while awaiting his Covid-19 test results”.

Prof Tlali said the polytechnic had been closed and would re-open tomorrow after the entire campus had been disinfected in accordance with public health guidelines issued by the health ministry and NACOSEC as part of efforts to contain the spread of the virus.

Other institutions that have suspended operations are Standard Lesotho Bank’s Mafeteng Branch, building materials supplier Cashbuild in Mafeteng as well as mobile communications giant Vodacom Lesotho’s outlets at Pioneer and Maseru Malls.














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