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COVID-19 blunder: Police order resulted to masks sharing, Health Minister overturns ruling

Saturday, 18th April, 2020

MBABANE:Health Minister Lizzie Nkosi had to intervene and stopped the spread of COVID-19 after public transport passengers allegedly started sharing masks in compliance with an order from the police suggesting that anyone seen without a mask might face arrest.

The COVID-19 blunder believed to have intensified the spread of the virus within a space of 24 hours, erupted after Superintendent Phindile Valakati, the Police Spokesperson told the Times of Eswatini that everyone should wear a mask with effect from Friday (17 April 2020). 

As the information started spreading that the police and other members of the law enforcement agency would be deployed to ensure that every Liswati comply with this order particularly on public places, people started sharing masks when boarding public transports.

Health Minister Lizzie Nkosi, in a statement released on Friday overturned the order by the police, warning that this was spreading the virus.

“It has come to our attention that some people have adopted the dangerous tendency of sharing masks. Sharing of masks is strictly prohibited as it is the quickest route to spreading the coronavirus and other diseases. Government has noted that some passengers using public transport are now sharing masks thus exposing themselves, families and communities to serious risks of COVID-19” said the Minister.

The Minister then said passengers were free to board public transport without wearing masks but must have their hands washed with clean water or sanitized. She said public transports must be sanitized and be kept clean at all times to prevent the spread of the virus.

The police recently a donation of 3000 masks from the Central Bank of Eswatini, thereafter, they announced that everyone should wear a mask without distributing same to the public.


COVID-19 blunder: Police order resulted to masks sharing, Health Minister overturns ruling
Police Spokesperson Superintendent Phindile Vilakati