Swaziland Ends Coronavirus National Emergency but Restrictions Stay in Place

The national emergency introduced in Swaziland (eSwatini) in response to the coronavirus pandemic has been ended but restrictions remain in place.

Prime Minister Ambrose Dlamini made the announcement on Saturday (21 November 20220) in a statement. The emergency had been declared by Swazi absolute monarch King Mswati III in March.

The change will not be much more than a technicality for most people because a raft of regulations remain in place under the Disaster Management Act. Dlamini said people were expected to fully abide by the regulations which included wearing a facemask in public; restrictions on the sale of alcohol; a ban on all night gatherings, including parties and vigils; a ban on gatherings of more than 100 people in an open space and all types of meeting should not last more than two hours thirty minutes.

The national emergency had been extended in June and September.

Separately, Lizzie Nkosi, Minister of Health, reported, 'The COVID-19 epidemic curve [in Swaziland] has peaked and shows signs of being on the decline. However, the coronavirus is still circulating in the country. Until a definitive treatment or vaccine for COVID-19 is found, another exponential increase in number of cases is still possible if preventative measures are abandoned by the nation.'

She reported there had been a total 6,205 positive cases of coronavirus reported by the Ministry of Health since the crisis began; of these 5,850 people had recovered. There had been a total of 119 reported deaths.

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