Lesotho have confirmed that they have recorded their first positive COVID-19 case, making them the final African country to announce a case of the deadly virus.
Health Minister Nkaku Kabi confirmed that samples sent to South Africa for testing had returned with a positive verdict.
“The Ministry of Health informs the Basotho nation and the entire community living in Lesotho that the country now has the first confirmed case of COVID-19,” a statement read.
NICD HANDLING LESOTHO’S TESTING
The statement said that travellers from South Africa and Saudi Arabia were the first to undergo testing, and among those 81 tests, one was confirmed positive for the virus.
“On 9 May 2020, the Ministry conducted 81 tests for COVID-19 from travellers from South Africa and Saudi Arabia.”
The Ministry said that all their tests had been sent to the National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD) in South Africa, with the country desperately short of testing equipment.
“On 11 May 2020 the samples were shipped to NICD in the Republic of South Africa and results were obtained on 12 May 2020. 80 people tested negative for COVID-19 while one tested positive.”
“To date, we have sent 597 specimens for testing at the NICD, 295 are negative and 301 are still pending results.”
“The Ministry of Health will continue to carry out active case through vigilant screening and testing all the suspected cases at all designated points of entry, at the health facilities and in the communities, as well as monitoring those on home quarantine.”
TUMULTUOUS TIMES IN LESOTHO
The kingdom had implemented lockdown restrictions despite not having registered any cases, with the sale of alcohol banned as is the case in South Africa.
The country finds itself in the midst of a leadership crisis, with Prime Minister Thomas Thabane announcing earlier in May that he will step down at the end of July.
Thabane has been implicated in the investigation into the death of his ex-wife Lipelelo, who was gunned down in June 2017.