MBABANE, 21 January 2021 – Authorities in Eswatini have extended for four more weeks stricter measures, including a ban on the sale of alcohol, in an effort to curb the spread of COVID-19.

The sale of alcohol will be totally banned during the four weeks, the country’s acting prime minister, Themba Masuku told reporters.

Former Eswatini PM Themba Masuku- Photo ETurboNews

Former Eswatini Prime Minister Themba Masuku – Photo ETurboNews

The country’s Prime Minister Ambrose Dlamini died in a hospital in South Africa in mid-December 2020, four weeks after he tested positive for COVID-19.

The ban on the sale of alcohol was initially imposed for only two weeks and was in effect only over the weekend.

Travel outside the country which was banned during the two-week initial period has been extended with the only exceptions being for medical reasons or work.

Public gatherings remain banned as well exxept for funerals which cannot have more than 50 people in attendance.

Working to curb COVID-19 in rural Eswatini - Photo Catholic Medical Mission Board

Curbing COVID-19 in rural Eswatini – Catholic Medical Mission Board

Eswatini, formerly known as Swaziland, borders South Africa where cases are surging and a new, more easily spread variant was detected last year.

South Africa is home to more than a third of the more than 3.37 million conrinavirus cases recorded so far across Africa.

Eswatini has recorded 13,789 confirmed cases with more than 2,000 new cases detected over the last fortnight.

Fatalities from the virus – at 268 two weeks ago – have risen by 159 to a total of 427 deaths in total since the virus was first detected in March 2020.

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