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Tuesday, 19 January 2021

Exhausted Swaziland coronavirus nurses picket for better conditions and equipment

 Nurses at a coronavirus quarantine centre in Swaziland (eSwatini) took to the streets to protest the lack of equipment and poor working conditions.

More than 20 nurses at the Mavuso Exhibition and Trade Centre in Manzini which has been turned into a coronavirus (COVID-19) centre picketed and blocked traffic on Monday (18 January 2021). They said they were exhausted with having to treat up to 35 patients at once. Some have reportedly collapsed with tiredness and others are off work sick.

The Swaziland Democratic Nurses Union (SWADNU) Manzini Regional Chairperson Nhlanhla Mhlanga said the buildings were unsuitable for coronavirus patients and had no windows or other ventilation.

He added ‘Most of our patients are diabetic but there are not enough glucometers here. These things cost less than E400 (US$27) each.’ There is also a shortage of masks and protective equipment for nurses.

In an editorial comment, the Times of eSwatini said, ‘It is evident to us all that our understaffed health workers are overwhelmed and overexposed due to an abnormally high number of COVID-19 infected patients being attended to daily – at times without a consistent supply of personal protective equipment (PPE). As a result, several nurses engaged in a go-slow in some health centres around the country, which affected hundreds of innocent patients.

‘They cannot be faulted for feeling unappreciated when their concerns come secondary to the car allowances and perks paid out to politicians right in the middle of a health crisis. This ill-timed decision has opened floodgates of demands from numerous sectors that feel equally important. People are dying but some are more concerned about their allowances. It’s sickening.’

The Swazi Minister of Health Lizzie Nkosi has already appealed to the World Health Organisation to send extra healthcare workers to Swaziland. In a letter she said, ‘The high number of new cases has resulted in health systems that are now overstretched, including a severe shortage of oxygen supply to the people who need it. The second wave is also resulting in more client admissions as a majority of the clients are presenting with symptoms, which rapidly progress to severe and critical illness. Furthermore, the capacity to manage critically ill patients is not adequate in the face of the rapidly rising numbers of patients presenting with severe illness.’

On Monday the Ministry of Health announced a further eight deaths from coronavirus bringing the total to 384. A total 13,187 people have tested positive since the crisis began.

 

See also

Swaziland plea to WHO for urgent help as coronavirus deaths out of control

https://swazimedia.blogspot.com/2021/01/swaziland-plea-to-who-for-urgent-help.html

 Big rises in coronavirus cases predicted in Swaziland by month’s end  

https://swazimedia.blogspot.com/2021/01/big-rises-in-coronavirus-cases.html

 

Swaziland bans all gatherings as Govt. struggles to stem rise in coronavirus deaths https://swazimedia.blogspot.com/2021/01/swaziland-bans-all-gatherings-as-govt.html

 

As coronavirus deaths rise, Swaziland Royal Family remain indifferent, new review finds  

https://swazimedia.blogspot.com/2021/01/as-coronavirus-deaths-rise-swaziland.html

 

Swaziland coronavirus deaths climb but vaccines might be three months away https://swazimedia.blogspot.com/2021/01/swaziland-coronavirus-deaths-climb-but.html

Monday, 18 January 2021

Swaziland Govt. tries to calm fears that coronavirus is caused by 5G technology

The Swaziland (eSwatini) Government has been forced to make a public statement reassuring people that there is no link between the coronavirus pandemic and 5G mobile phone technology.

Manqoba Khumalo, Acting Minister of Information, Communications and Technology, said in a statement on Monday (18 January 2021) a lot of ‘panic and anxiety’ and ‘conspiracy theories’ had spread among people that 5G technology caused coronavirus (COVID-19).

He said, ‘The theory has no basis and is totally devoid of any truth as there is absolutely no relationship whatsoever between the technology and the novel coronavirus.’

Trials to introduce 5G technology have yet to start in the impoverished kingdom of Swaziland.

Deaths from coronavirus continue to rise. As of 17 January 2021 there had been 376 deaths and 12,944 positive cases recorded by the Swazi Ministry of Health.

See also

Swaziland plea to WHO for urgent help as coronavirus deaths out of control https://swazimedia.blogspot.com/2021/01/swaziland-plea-to-who-for-urgent-help.html

 

Big rises in coronavirus cases predicted in Swaziland by month’s end https://swazimedia.blogspot.com/2021/01/big-rises-in-coronavirus-cases.html


Thursday, 14 January 2021

Swaziland plea to WHO for urgent help as coronavirus deaths out of control

Swaziland (eSwatini) has sent an urgent plea to the World Health Organisation (WHO) for help in getting through the coronavirus crisis as deaths continue to rise.

Swazi Minister of Health Lizzie Nkosi has written requesting for an International Emergency Medical Team to work in the kingdom for at least four weeks. 

She said Swaziland needed critical care physicians, critical care nurses, biomedical technicians and epidemiologists. She wanted people in place by 15 January 2021.

She said the kingdom faced unprecedented public health challenges because of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Swaziland was going through a second wave and the number of deaths was double that of the first wave.

On Wednesday (13 January 2021) she announced a further 13 deaths bringing the total so far to 332. According to official Ministry of Health figures, there have been a total of 12,124 positive cases since the crisis started. The population of Swaziland is about 1.1 million people.

In her letter to the WHO Nkosi wrote, ‘The high number of new cases has resulted in health systems that are now overstretched, including a severe shortage of oxygen supply to the people who need it. The second wave is also resulting in more client admissions as a majority of the clients are presenting with symptoms, which rapidly progress to severe and critical illness. Furthermore, the capacity to manage critically ill patients is not adequate in the face of the rapidly rising numbers of patients presenting with severe illness.’

She added, ‘The country now has 11 COVID-19 treatment centres, nine public and two private with a total bed capacity of 437. Bed occupancy rate is rising every week. The country has 29 beds for critical care with all 29 occupied, giving an occupancy rate of 100 percent.’

 

See also

Big rises in coronavirus cases predicted in Swaziland by month’s end

https://swazimedia.blogspot.com/2021/01/big-rises-in-coronavirus-cases.html

Swaziland bans all gatherings as Govt. struggles to stem rise in coronavirus deaths https://swazimedia.blogspot.com/2021/01/swaziland-bans-all-gatherings-as-govt.html

As coronavirus deaths rise, Swaziland Royal Family remain indifferent, new review finds 

https://swazimedia.blogspot.com/2021/01/as-coronavirus-deaths-rise-swaziland.html

Swaziland coronavirus deaths climb but vaccines might be three months away https://swazimedia.blogspot.com/2021/01/swaziland-coronavirus-deaths-climb-but.html

Swaziland coronavirus deaths climb, security forces to arrest rule breakers on sight https://swazimedia.blogspot.com/2021/01/swaziland-coronavirus-deaths-climb.html

Tuesday, 12 January 2021

Mario Masuku, veteran Swaziland democracy leader, dies, reportedly from coronavirus

Mario Masuku,the former President of Swaziland’s People’s United Democratic Movement (PUDEMO), has died. No cause has been given but local media report it was from coronavirus.

PUDEMO, a prodemocracy group that is banned in Swaziland, made the announcement on Tuesday (12 January 2012). He was aged 70 and had been a founder of PUDEMO and President until 2018.

He was one of the best known prodemocracy activists in the kingdom ruled by King Mswati III as an absolute monarch.

He has been arrested many times and charged, though never convicted, with terrorism and sedition.

In May 2014, Masuku and Maxwell Dlamini (a student leader and member of the PUDEMO youth league, the Swaziland Youth Congress, SWAYOCO) were charged under the Sedition and Subversive Activities Act (SSA) and the Suppression of Terrorism Act (STA) for having addressed workers on May Day in Manzini, and shouting slogans in support of PUDEMO. Initially denied bail, they were kept in pre-trial detention and were eventually granted conditional bail and released by the Supreme Court 14 months later.

Masuku was no stranger to the jails and lawcourts. In 2001 he was charged with two counts under the SSA, accused of allegedly making statements that were seditious. At the close of the Crown’s case he was acquitted and discharged of the first count and later also acquitted on the second count.

Mario Masuku

 

In 2008, following a spate of bombings of some Government buildings and some local government centres, the STA was enacted. Immediately PUDEMO and three other organisations were listed as terrorist organizations.

In the same year Masuku was charged under the STA and, alternatively, under the SSA. In September 2009 he was acquitted and discharged by the High Court of Swaziland, because the State failed to prove the its case. He had been in jail on remand for 10 months.


See also

Swaziland’s democracy activist is the real ‘Super Mario’

https://swazimedia.blogspot.com/2019/11/swazilands-democracy-activist-is-real.html

 

Democracy leaders freed on bail 

http://swazimedia.blogspot.co.uk/2015/07/democracy-leaders-freed-on-bail.html


Terror charge for shouting slogan 

https://swazimedia.blogspot.com/2014/08/terror-charge-for-shouting-slogan.html