Lesotho becomes last African nation to report COVID-19 case
14 Mai, 2020, 14:25 | Auteur: Anatole Charbonneau
The virus was detected on an individual among 81 people who were tested after arriving last week from Saudi Arabia and neighbouring South Africa, the health ministry said in a statement.
"The Ministry of Health informs the Basotho nation and the entire community living in Lesotho, that the country now has the first confirmed case of COVID-19", Director General Dr Nyane Letsie said.
Only the Western Sahara, which is not recognised as a state by the United Nations, but is an African Union member, has not yet recorded a coronavirus case in Africa.
"On 11 May 2020 the samples were shipped to the National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD) in South Africa and results were obtained on 12 May 2020".
Lesotho has sent more than 200 samples to the NICD, with some of the patients showing coronavirus-like symptoms but none have come back positive. "Eighty people tested negative for Covid-19 while one tested positive". Lesotho's lockdown started on 30 April and lasted until 5 May.
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This would place an enormous burden on the country's already fragile health system, he said.
The ministry said it would continue to carry out active case-finding through screening and testing of all suspected cases at designated points of entry and at health facilities while monitoring those in quarantine.
Lesotho went into lockdown on March 29 to protect itself from a potential spread of the virus from South Africa, which entirely surrounds the kingdom and has the highest number of confirmed cases on the continent.
The disease has struck at a time of political uncertainty in Lesotho, with Thabane due to step down by the end of the next week after his coalition collapsed in parliament.
A few weeks ago, Lesotho's Finance Minister Moeketsi Majoro, in an interview with South Africa's EyeWitness News, pleaded with those wanting to be repatriated to remain in South Africa - fearing that some might come back with the virus.
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