Eswatini suspends prison visits, restricts hospital visits as Covid-19 fears mount
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Rustenburg - Eswatini has suspended prison visits and is restricting hospital visits in a bid to stop the spread of Covid-19.
The landlocked southern African country has declared a two month national emergency in the face of the rapid spread of the coronavirus across the world.
It has one confirmed Covid-19 case, with the results of 12 suspected infections coming out negative.
On Tuesday, Prime Minister Ambrose Dlamini said army day, which had been set for Friday, as well as Good Friday and Easter services in April had been suspended with immediate effect. King Mswati's 52nd birthday celebration which was due on April 19 had also been cancelled.
"The budget set aside for the king’s birthday celebration will be redirected to the fight against the coronavirus pandemic," Dlamini told journalists in Mbabane.
He said foreign nationals from high-risk countries would not be allowed to enter Eswatini until further notice, with visas already issued to residents of those nations being revoked from March 20.
None essential travel to all other countries for all citizens was also suspended.
In addition, public and private gatherings of more than 50 people, including conferences, funerals, weddings, sports activities and entertainment, have been suspended until further notice.
According to the World Health Organisation, as of March 17 there were 179,112 confirmed cases in the world and 7,426 deaths.
The Western Pacific Region has 91 779 cases with 3 357 deaths, while Europe has 64 189 cases with 3 108 deaths, South-East Asia has 508 cases and nine deaths and the Eastern Mediterranean region has 16 786 cases with 873 deaths.
The Americas region has 4 910 confirmed cases with 68 deaths, while Africa has 228 cases with four deaths.