Majoro tests positive for Covid-19

  • premier forced to cancel travel plans, goes into self-isolation

Limpho Sello

PRIME Minister Moeketsi Majoro has tested positive for Covid-19, his press attaché, Buta Moseme, said yesterday.

Dr Majoro has since cancelled his plans to travel outside the country and gone into self-isolation, Mr Moseme said. He did not say where Dr Majoro had intended to travel to.

He however, said the premier was in a good condition and did not present any symptoms at all.

“The Office of the Prime Minister wishes to take this opportunity to inform the public that the Prime Minister, Dr Moeketsi Majoro, has tested positive for Covid-19,” Mr Moseme said in a statement.

“As part of the private travel that he was intending to undertake, he did PCR Covid-19 tests and the result came back positive. Consequently, he moved into home isolation even though he is not experiencing any symptoms.

“The Prime Minister further consulted his doctor and he has undertaken additional tests. So far, all the tests are satisfactory…The Prime Minister will remain in home isolation until his results turn negative. The public is urged to remain clam as Dr Majoro is in good health and has no symptoms of the virus,” Mr Moseme added.

The statement also quotes Dr Majoro speaking on the lessons he has learnt from his experience.

“I would like to share with the public the important message I drew from this experience,” the premier says.

“Had it not been for the testing required for travel, I would not have known that I am Covid-19 positive.

“Even if you are vaccinated, you could still get infected by the Coronavirus and you can still spread it unknowingly. Being vaccinated is likely to prevent the onset of serious illness, hospitalisation and possible death from the virus. Being vaccinated may not prevent infection from yet unknown Covid-19 variants,” Dr Majoro said.

The premier’s disclosure of his health status is a rare exception to the unspoken rule among leaders, particularly African leaders, not to reveal their conditions.

Although the official cause of death of the late Tanzanian president John Magufuli in March this year is said to have been heart complications, it is widely believed that the leader succumbed to Covid-19.

He had made headlines all over the world for downplaying the impact of Covid-19 and refusing to implement the health protocols recommended by the World Health Organisation (WHO) to fight the pandemic. These included wearing face masks in public, practicing social distancing and frequently washing hands with sanitisers.

Former United States President Donald Trump, who had similarly been a “Covid-19 denialist” also tested positive for the virus alongside his wife, Melania Trump, last October.

Mr Trump’s result came after he spent months playing down the severity of the outbreak that had up to that point, killed more than 207 000 in the US. The positive result also came just a few hours after he had insisted that “the end of the pandemic is in sight”.

The US is the world leader when it comes to Covid-19 infections. As of yesterday, a cumulative 36 896 358 infections and 634 688 deaths had been recorded in the world superpower.

Besides Dr Majoro, former Deputy Prime Minister Moleleki, is the first high-profile former government leader to come out and reveal that he had tested positive for the virus last July. Mr Moleleki tested positive shortly after his wife, (Malimpho Moleleki). They were hospitalised at Berea Hospital where they subsequently recovered.

Dr Majoro’s positive result comes barely a month after he announced a stricter lockdown, including a ban on travel, saying the country was now in the third wave of the pandemic.

Dr Majoro said Lesotho was battling three highly contagious variants of the virus.

These are the South African variant, Delta variant and the United Kingdom mutation of the Lambda variant first identified in Peru last August.

Of these, the Delta variant is the most virulent with reports saying it is responsible for 83 percent of Covid-19 cases in the US.

As of yesterday, Lesotho had recorded a cumulative 13 845 infections and 391 deaths.

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