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Health Minister Defends Hosting Incwala During COVID-19.

Eswatini Minister of Health Lizzie Nkosi. (Courtesy Picture).
Eswatini Minister of Health Lizzie Nkosi. (Courtesy Picture).

Health Minister Lizzie Nkosi has defended the country’s decision of hosting the annual Incwala Ceremony amidst surging numbers of Coronavirus.

The Minister was speaking on News Room Africa (A South African 24 hours news channel) where she confirmed that the country did host the annual ceremony. However, she was quick to say that the health protocols were followed to the latter.

“What I can say to you is that the ceremony has happened and it was properly social distanced, we tested everybody, it gave us an opportunity to look at how best we can organize testing very quickly, very efficiently and have it controlled”, said the Minister.

Nkosi also made it clear that the ceremony is not the cause of the surge in the COVID-19 numbers pointing out that the surge started very early in December before the ceremony and continues to spiral long after the ceremony.

“So, it has happened. It contributed but it wasn’t Incwala that caused this surge. The surge started very early in December as you would know and it continues long after Incwala is gone. The surge is getting higher and higher after the Incwala has gone”, said Nkosi.

She said that the government has increased testing sites and is working closely with the World Health Organisation and other international bodies to make sure that the country is documenting and reporting for all the COVID-19 cases.

In the last 24 hour cycle, the Kingdom of Eswatini recorded 19 COVID-19 related deaths and 256 new cases. Total number of confirmed cases now sit at 4 272 while deaths sit at 403.