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MINISTER REVEALS COVID-19 HOTSPOTS

By SIFISO DLAMINI | 2020-05-21

MINISTER of Health Lizzie Nkosi has identified the country’s COVID-19 red zone areas.

Since the announcement of the first positive case in the country on March 14, the number of cases has since shot up to over 208, regardless of the preventative measures accompanying the ongoing partial lockdown.

During her ministerial statement on government’s COVID-19 response in the House of Assembly, Nkosi said they had observed an increase in cases over the past two weeks, with 50 cases reported last week following 53 cases reported the previous week.

Worth noting was that the recent spike in the number of cases coincided with government’s decision to relax the lockdown conditions.

The minister said the increase in cases was as a result of established local transmission and intensified contact tracing by the rapid response teams on the ground. The minister further revealed that Manzini region had been identified as the epicentre of the pandemic in the country, accounting for a majority of the total cases.

She said based on the data available, government had further worked out a risk grading system for different areas,  which has been divided into three categories.

“The red zone consists of the region or area with the most number of cases, followed by orange and yellow being the less affected areas in the kingdom,” she said.

She mentioned that the red zone included Manzini city, West and East, Ka-Shali, Ngwane Park, Fairview, Matsapha Industrial Site and surrounding settlements including Ludzeludze, Eteni and Kwaluseni as well as the Lubombo Referral Hospital.  She stated that the orange zone consisted of Mbabane City, Ezulwini, Siteki, Nhlangano, Buhleni and Siphofaneni.

She added that the yellow zone included the rest of the country.

“Restrictions and measures will be applied by zone where the red zone will have stricter restrictions easing down as we move to the yellow zone with the requirement to strictly adhere to core preventative measures,” she said.

The minister further mentioned that over 60 000 people had been screened across the country and this included screening at health facilities and road- blocks conducted by security personnel.   

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