Basotho told to stay in India amid covid-19 surge

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By Mamello Mosaefane

Foreign Affairs minister ’Matšepo Ramakoae has today urged Basotho diaspora in India not to return home in the middle of a shock rise in Covid-19 statistics.

India is faced with a third wave of the Covid-19 pandemic and its positive cases are on an upsurge with the country has recorded 22 662, 575 positive cases, while 246, 146 deaths and currently there are 3, 745, 207 active cases. And there are 18,671,222 recoveries.

Ramakoae said the diaspora in India should remain in this covid-19 hard-hit country to avoid the spread of the virus.

In a statement to National Assembly today, Ramakoae said the ministry has received communication that all 85 Basotho living in India currently are well and no one has been infected by the virus.

Of the 85, Ramakoae said 5 are members of the Lesotho Defence Force undergoing special training, and others are mostly students.

“I received a report that Students are well taken care of at their schools. Also, Lesotho and India have got good relations,” Ramakoae said.

She added India has promised to donate 36 000 doses of Astrazeneca vaccine as soon as the country gets its Covid-19 situation under control.

She further said only 3 Basotho in India were reported to have contacted the virus, but have since recovered.

Furthermore, Ramakoae said those in India have already received the first dose of AstraZeneca.

While the Covid-19 variant is said to be dangerous, Ramakoae advised family members of those in India to stay calm as the ministry has got the situation under control.

She said funds have also been distributed to these Basotho in the diaspora for survival in this trying time.

Ramakoae said it is not easy to bring back those in India as they recite in far different locations and movement is restricted within India as well as international travels.