“All employers in the public and private sector should ensure that their employees are vaccinated before they can access their places of work, including health services”. This was said by the Prime Minister of Lesotho Dr. Moeketsi Majoro during a televised Nation Address on January 3rd,2022.
He informed the Nation that Lesotho has so far vaccinated 830,128 Basotho to date against the COVID19, which is 42% of the population of Basotho. “This is a little above half of the target of the Ministry of Health of vaccinating 1.6 Million -52%” he added.
The Prime Minister added that 2500 youth aged between 12 to 17 have already been vaccinated.
The Prime Minister informed the Nation that the rate of infection has increased from 0.9% to 9%, which he said is a 10 % increase from the end of November 2021. He stated that infection has increased to 2654 from 48 in the past four weeks. He, however, revealed that even though the infection rate has increased, hospitalization and death-related incidences are still low. “Admission in hospitals has not changed that much from 5% to 6%,” the PM said.
Meanwhile, in a radio announcement, some businesses have already started enforcing Lesotho Government Gazette Legal Notice 142, Number 117, Volume 66 of 31 December 2021 which stipulates who should vaccinate and if not what the employer or owner of such public establishment should do. “You have to have a vaccination card and National ID otherwise no entry to Avani Lesotho and Land Administration Authority (LAA)”, announced PC FM.
In the Statement made by the Prime Minister people are expected to carry their Vaccination cards and National Identification Cards when needing health services, going to work, and other public places such as hotels and government offices.
Although there has been a lot of backlash since the announcement, Lesotho Red Cross Society Health Centers has reported an increase in the number of people needing to vaccinate.
Other people through a live broadcast on the radio still say they will not vaccinate and threaten to take the Government to court.
The LRCS Health and Social Services Coordinator Ms. Moluoane Ramakhula revealed that December was a very tough month for the Society where 15 health staff in four Health Centers had to be in isolation after being infected supposedly with COVID 19 virus by the patients.
“That is half of the staff of the health centers and that means there was a huge shortage of staff resulting in a big backlog of patients, Ms. Ramakhula added.
In addition, three headquarters staff also tested positive too in December with COVID19. She said she is happy because all headquarters staff in Maseru, Divisional Offices, and Health Centres have been vaccinated, were tested in December 2021 and no deaths or hospitalization has been reported.