MBABANE: Senator Lizzie Nkosi, the Minister of Health has finally disclosed over 1000 COVID-19 cases that were allegedly hidden during the recently held Incwala ritual ceremony, the actually number of citizens who died within the various communities remain a top secret.
In a press statement released on Monday, the Minister said there were 1017 unreported COVID-19 cases that have resulted to an increase in the number of total cumulative cases and recoveries recorded to date and as a result, the cases increased from 17 376 to 18 393.
“The Ministry of Health has been undertaking a data cleaning process where health facilities that have been conducting testing have been requested to submit all their testing registers to the National COVID-19 Laboratory in Mbabane. The 1017 cases being reported as additional comprise patients who were tested and treated within those health facilities. Cases of those that died were recorded immediately so as to facilitate their burial, thus the backlog is not inclusive of those who died while undergoing treatment,” reads the statement in part.
Reached for comments, Sibongile Mazibuko, the President of the Ngwane National Liberatory Congress(NNLC) said Government perpetrated the spread of the virus during Incwala ceremony and concealed the high number of infections that came with the ritual ceremony only to release them now.
Speaking to this Swaziland News, the NNLC President said it was in the interest of government to handle the consequences of their loopholes and failures by sweeping the high numbers under the carpet hence the release of high cases now.
“The Government is hiding the magnitude of the harm that happened as a result of the Incwala ceremony. An error can happen where cases of about 5 to 10 are not reported, over a thousand cases not reported is intentional. The Government is all out to hide the mess that they made when handling the pandemic,” said the NNLC President.
Bheki Mamba, the President of the Swaziland Democratic Nurses Union (SWADNU) said they were not aware why the COVID-19 cases were unaccounted for all along by the Ministry of Health.
“The Ministry probably only had time now to do the data cleaning process and that points to one aspect of accuracy of date because if they mean there were facilities conducting testing and they were not reporting those Covid-19 cases, I do not understand what is the reason for that. What is the Ministry doing about those facilities that were conducting testing because they were supposed to report? It was very wrong for them not to report. I think the report must confirm what is going to be done around that question,” said the SWADNU President.
Health Minister Lizzie Nkosi