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King's Government fails to procure COVID-19 vaccines, extends partial lockdown

Friday, 5th March, 2021

MBABANE: Senator Themba Masuku, the Acting Prime Minister said His Majesty King Mswati\'s government has found it proper to extend the partial lockdown for an additional two weeks since the country hasn’t yet received a COVID 19 vaccine.

Addressing the Nation during a press conference held at the Cabinet offices in Mbabane on Thursday, the Acting Prime Minister said when government invoked the last extension of the partial lockdown two weeks ago, they had hoped that the country would have received the first batch of the COVID-19 vaccines to start vaccinating health workers and frontline staff by today.

“This process has also been delayed due to unforeseen circumstances but we have intensified our efforts to access the vaccines as soon as practically possible to start the vaccination exercise. It is for these reasons that government has taken the tough yet necessary decision to extend the current COVID-19 Partial Lockdown restrictions by a further two weeks; effective today”, he said.

On or around 28 February this Swaziland News, published an investigative story suggesting that King Mswati allegedly stopped the procurement of the COVID 19 vaccines in favour of  his Taiwanese ‘wonder drug’ that saved him from the virus. But with international pressure from the World Health Organisation (WHO), it has been disclosed that King Mswati’s order might be defied by government on the grounds that the said ‘wonder drug’ was not approved by the United Nations.

Bheki Mamba, the President of the Swaziland Democratic Nurses Union (SWADNU) said the delay in the procurement of the COVID- 19 vaccines was not only affecting the health of the Nation but also the economy.

“The delay is now affecting the whole country in terms of business and the economy. South Africa is now well ahead of us in terms of vaccinating the whole population and they are controlling the whole of the Southern African economy, if we  keep on lagging behind on the vaccination, our trade with South Africa will be affected”, said the SWADNU President.

King's Government fails to procure COVID-19 vaccines, extends partial lockdown
Acting Prime Minister Themba Masuku