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Eswatini hits over 1000 COVID-19 confirmed cases,two Judges test positive

Monday, 6th July, 2020

MBABANE:Eswatini has recorded over 1000 COVID-19 confirmed cases since the eruption of the pandemic, two Judges of the High Court are among those whose cases were confirmed by Health Minister Lizzie Nkosi on Monday evening.

Minister Nkosi has confirmed 23 new cases, taking the total of cases to 1011.  She also announced 17 new recoveries, taking the total number of recoveries in the whole country to 564.

One of the Judges who allegedly tested positive was contacted by this publication, however, the judge promised to return the call later after finishing a meeting. The name of the senior judicial officer cannot be revealed without permission as matters touching people’s health are protected by journalism ethics. 

“Batsi sengenteni-ke Zweli, asengikushayele back nangicedza nangumhlangano(Let me call you back when I finish this meeting)” said the Honorable  Judge.

Health Minister Lizzie Nkosi released a statement confirming the results suggesting that the virus was affecting both the youth, the middle aged and the elderly.

“The Ministry of Health would like to inform the public of the status of COVID-19 in the Eswatini. A total of 350 results were received today, of which 23 tested positive. The total number of confirmed cases to date is 1011” said the Minister through the press statement.

Another Judge who spoke to this Swaziland News expressed serious concern that some of the staff members were allegedly told by the Chief Justice Bheki Maphalala to go home and come back tomorrow (Tuesday) without being isolated and tested.

“My main worry now is that some of the staff were told by the Chief Justice to go home and come back tomorrow, without being tested and isolated. For us its different, we are already old, but the staff members are young with families, they must be tested so they can know their status and plan their lives” said the Honorable Judge.

This publication sent questions to Chief Justice Bheki Maphalala via his whatsapp number, however, he had not responded at the time of compiling this report.

On or around 03 July 2020, Bheki Mamba, the President of the Swaziland Democratic Nurses Union (SWADNU) told this publication that the COVID-19 situation was getting worse saying government might run out of tests kits. As a result, he said only those with COVID-19 symptoms will be tested warning that this was in complete violation of the guidelines by the World Health Organization (WHO) suggesting that people with contacts to those who tested positive should be isolated and tested. 

“As we mentioned earlier that the situation might become worse particularly because we were surviving with donations. As we speak, the various hospitals have run out of medication to treat other diseases and the COVID-19 test kits. The Ministry of Health has taken a decision to test only those with COVID-19 symptoms and this suggests that the country will now struggle to identify those who were infected until they start showing COVID-19 symptoms and those people will continue spreading the virus. This is a clear indication that as country, we are now breaching guidelines by the World Health Organization (WHO) to test people who had contacts with positive patients” said the nurses President.

  

Eswatini hits over 1000 COVID-19 confirmed cases,two Judges test positive
High Court of Eswatini building