Geschrieben von Irina Andre-Lang
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News from Lesotho


The mountain kingdom of Lesotho was the first African country to close all borders on 12th March 2020 to prevent the scourge of the coronavirus. No one is allowed to leave the mountain range or come to Lesotho, as the authorities are taking drastic measures to protect their citizens from the deadly coronavirus.


Lesotho is completely surrounded by South Africa and the economies of the two countries are intertwined. The governments of the two countries are in close consultation to obtain a coordinated response to Covid-19.


No confirmed cases of infection have been reported in Lesotho so far, but the country cannot test for the virus itself. Prime Minister Thabane said that although Lesotho does not have a confirmed case of Covid-19, his government is concerned that the disease is spreading at a frightening rate in South Africa, where infections have exceeded 1,400 cases.


Despite the lack of confirmed cases, the government declared a national emergency on 18th March 2020 and closed all schools until 17 April (but allowed school meals to continue). This was followed by a three-week curfew from 29 March 2020, which will remain in force until 21 April 2020. The country's two million people are expected to stay in their homes for the next three weeks.


As seen around the world, many Basotho stocked up on critical supplies such as food and medicine. There were long and winding queues in supermarkets and pharmacies.


Only those who work in essential services such as health, security, utilities, banks and supermarkets are allowed to work.

All security authorities have been instructed to enforce the measures to combat this disease without delay by controlling the movement of people.


Lesotho's borders with SA are closed, but those who deliver goods are allowed at trade borders.

Basotho, who stay in South Africa, are prevented from going home.

Almost 15% of Basotho work in SA. Thousands of others enter and leave Lesotho every day. Others use illegal crossings.

The coronavirus crisis has already hit the textile sector, which is the second largest employer after the government in Lesotho.

Textile companies told the government they were facing bankruptcy after buyers cancelled orders and shipments of fabric from Chinese plants. More than 40,000 Basotho, mostly poor women, work in textile factories.

Unions warn of a major disaster as companies close and call on the government to help pay workers.


According to one of our local carers, Mrs. Makabelo Tenane, the curfew helps to contain the spread of the virus, but it leads to many disadvantages and great hardship and hunger among the poor population of Lesotho.