The Prime Minister, Dr Moeketsi Majoro says the government has decided to put the country on a two-week total lockdown starting from midnight of Wednesday 14th January.
Dr Majoro announced this when addressing the nation on state television on Tuesday evening, saying the shutdown means the country has been put to Red colour coding stage due to the high rate of COVID-19 infections and deaths.
He added that the Red stage has been adjusted for the country to be able to cope and reduce the existing rate of infection and deaths, saying the adjusted stage includes implementation of the curfew which will be from 7: 00 pm to 06:00 am.
In this stage, all super spreader activities like social/family gatherings, entertainment industry, sporting events, gyms, and political gatherings have been restricted except essential goods and services.
Talking about essential goods and services, the Prime Minister noted that retail and supermarkets, grocery shops and cafes will open from 08:00 am to 4:00 pm however should restrict the number of people entering the store.
Again, health service providers, food and agriculture, financial services, Communication service providers will continue to provide services, but all are expected to observe COVID-19 protocols.
With regard to public transport, Dr Majoro said the 4+1 taxi is permitted to carry three passengers, 15 seater taxi is allowed to carry 10 passengers, while 22 seater and bus are allowed to carry 70% capacity and no standing passenger, saying taxi owners must acquire a permit from traffic department.
According to Red Colour coding stage, funerals are expected to operate as follows; for outdoor burial of private family members services, a number of people is restricted to a maximum of 10 and the service to take not more than 2 hours, no buffet service but only prepacked meals.
“Other essential services allowed are electricity services, water and sewage, fire brigade, courts, security services and government printer,” he noted.
To date, the recorded COVID-19 death toll is 85 with 5, 937 registered positive cases while recoveries stand at 1, 572. The total number of the tested specimens is 41, 012.
By Staff Reporter: Maphoka Likotsi