The Swaziland (eSwatini) Ministry of Health announced a new record of coronavirus cases in a single day just as schools in the kingdom began to reopen and churches were told they could begin operating again.
The number of cases has been steadily rising in recent weeks. On Wednesday (8 July 2020) Minister of Health Lizzie Nkosi reported there had been 82 positive cases in the previous 24 hours bringing the total number of cases to 1,138. There have been 14 deaths.
The number of tests reported in the first eight days of July was 3,306. Of these nearly 10 percent (326) tested positive. The total population of Swaziland is about 1.3 million.
Schools across Swaziland began to reopen on Monday against the advice of the Swaziland National Association of Teachers (SNAT) which said it was unsafe to do so. SNAT went to the Industrial Court on Tuesday to try to get the reopenings halted. The case is continuing.
Already local media have reported cases of suspected coronavirus (COVID-19) among pupils. One teacher reportedly tested positive.
On Wednesday the Ministry of Home Affairs issued regulations allowing churches to reopen with the maximum number of people present being 'the equivalent of 30 per cent of the total holding capacity' of the venue.
The entire Swazi Cabinet of government ministers have been in isolation this week after one of their number tested positive. They were expected to return to work on Thursday after tests they undertook proved negative.