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Better days ahead for national oxygen situation


Ntsoaki Motaung

In his national address on the covid-19 situation update, the Prime Minister Dr Moeketsi Majoro promised stability in the national oxygen supply situation at hospitals come next week.

Addressing the nation via State broadcaster on Wednesday, Majoro announced an additional seven days to the on-going Alert Level Red national lockdown up to February 03, 2021.

“The public is rightfully worried about the oxygen supply situation at our hospitals. Oxygen availability has emerged as a critical problem not only affecting Lesotho, but the region as whole. Government meets daily to assess the oxygen situation at our hospitals, and I can confirm that the supply situation will stabilise next week,” he said.

The Premier indicated that, in the meantime, government is working with suppliers daily to minimise any shortages at health facilities.

Majoro stated that, the government is concerned that funerals remain by far the most rampant spreader of corona virus and that people continue to violate the guidelines that regulate burials.

“Government will announce additional safeguards regarding burial of our loved one’s during next week’s announcement. In preparation for that announcement, I have directed ministers to undertake in-depth consultations with different sectors to ensure that everyone is on board for next week’s announcements,” he said.

According to the Prime Minister, Lesotho intends to procure vaccines under the existing UN arrangements, but also intends to purchase supplies from others where possible.

Majoro said, “Cabinet will meet tomorrow to give direction on vaccine procurements and to deal with the massive logistical requirements for rolling out vaccines. At this stage, our commitment to distribute vaccines during April remains on course. The Minister of Health will inform the public about Government plans regarding vaccines in the next few days.” 

“Consideration was given to level of new infections, health system capacity, and incidence of deaths. Cabinet concluded that the lockdown introduced on 15th January 2021 succeeded to reduce the level of new infections from 47% to 36 %.

“However, at 36 %, new infections are still very high. At the time of announcement of the lockdown, new infections stood at 47 percent, but were hovering around 6 % between end of October and beginning of December 2020. As a result, Cabinet has decided to extend the current lockdown by a further 7 days, effective tomorrow, 28th January to 3rd February 2021. Furthermore, Government will announce before the end of the 7 days a new direction on Covid-19,” he said. ltno

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