Lesotho COVID-19 Cases double amid Alcohol Ban

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By Nicole Tau

Lesotho has seen a drastic spike in COVID-19 cases from 359 to 742 even after imposing a lockdown that barred the sale of alcoholic beverages.

COVID-19 case statistics recorded to date in the country, show a 107 percent increase and active cases have risen by 92 percent in less than a month since the alcohol ban was introduced.

Even though the country has reconfigured its first line of defense with a facelift from National Emergency Command Centre to National COVID-19 Secretariat with its new mitigation framework regulations the infection rate has surged regardless.

The recorded statistics showed that between July 19 and August 2, there has been a drastic spike in COVID-19 cases with the country currently standing at 742 confirmed positive cases, 175 recoveries, and 23 deceased persons.

A source within NACOSEC, who refused to be named for fear of reprisals said the spike in COVID-19 statistics is essentially caused by the increase in the number of tests being conducted by the country.

Lesotho now has a testing facility that was recently launched by Prime Minister Majoro after receipt of donated COVID-19 testing machines, from the World Health Organization, National Institute for Communicable Disease (NICD), a South African testing center and Matekane Group of Companies (MGC).

Prior to the setting up of the testing facility, there was a backlog in tests since some of the machines that being used had not yet passed the World Health Organization accreditation.

These COVID-19 testing machines are able to produce at least 1300 tests in less than 24 hours.

“As more samples are taken, more tests will be produced frequently. So we might see a spike in COVID-19 tests for a while,” NACOSEC the source said.

NACOSEC’s Risk Determination and Mitigation Framework provides that the country is in the Fourth stage of Low Community Transmission of the COVID-19 Pandemic under the Orange Pillar.

Meaning that Lesotho is at the stage where the authorities can no longer identify or trace the source of the disease that originally infected the community.

The sales of alcohol were appropriated with the Orange color for perpetuating social activities which are considered to be COVID-19 “super-spreaders”.

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