COVID-19 Response - Ezulwini Municipality

The corona virus pandemic has threatened to end human civilisation in the past few months after it was declared an outbreak in a space of a month after being discovered. Corona viruses are not new, but what has hit the world still traumatises every government.  

Statement from WHO

WHO is bringing the world’s scientists and global health professionals together to accelerate the research and development process, and develop new norms and standards to contain the spread of the coronavirus pandemic and help care for those affected.

The R&D Blueprint has been activated to accelerate diagnostics, vaccines and therapeutics for this novel coronavirus. The solidarity of all countries will be essential to ensure equitable access to COVID-19 health products.

Statement from the Government of eSwatini

Since the declaration of a National Emergency and the introduction of a Partial Lock-down, the government of eSwatini has widened her scope of interventions through aggressive testing, contact tracing, isolation and treatment of confirmed cases. The bed capacity in our hospitals has been increased and more health equipment and medical supplies procured. 

See official Statement ->

Statement from the Municipality of Ezulwini

The Municipality through the Public Health and Environment Department (PHED) has vital role to play in the outbreak of COVID-19, mandated by The Public Health Act 1969. The Municipality is working closely with the Ministry of Health in disseminating information to the public on the outbreak and how they can play a role in preventing further spread.

Wear your face mask and always keep it on!

What is COVID-19?

Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is an infectious disease caused by a newly discovered coronavirus. Most people infected with the COVID-19 virus will experience mild to moderate respiratory illness and recover without requiring special treatment.  Older people, and those with underlying medical problems like cardiovascular disease, diabetes, chronic respiratory disease, and cancer are more likely to develop serious illness.

The best way to prevent and slow down transmission is be well informed about the COVID-19 virus, the disease it causes and how it spreads. Protect yourself and others from infection by washing your hands or using an alcohol based rub frequently and not touching your face. 

Are you feeling any of the symptoms and you are unsure whether to determine your condition as COVID-19 or a common flu?  Call assistance immediately.

Myths and frequently asked questions

Stay knowledgeable, stay safe!

It is very important to maintain social distancing between yourself and the next person and by all means avoid unnecessary gatherings, even when you are less than 20.

Corona virus spread though droplets from the mouth and nose when an infected person speaks. To prevent this, everyone should were a mask in-order to protect themselves and others from the Virus.

The outbreak has claimed numerous lives of black people in Africa and the number of positive cases keep rising each. Everyone exposed to the virus can get infected.

The Government of eSwatini strongly advises that all people who have to take ARVs should never miss their dates. “Sivikela iCorona phindze sivele neligciwane i-AIDS”.

Learn more about these topics.

COVID-19 Programs and Initiatives

How we responded to the outbreak of the Corona-virus.

1. Awareness and Sensitization

Ezulwini Municipality is a tourist hub and has a significant number of accommodation and commercial establishments which receive tourists from various countries. The municipality in addition, provides services to residents and other customers who visit the offices regularly. These events could lead to high risk of exposure to employees, business community, schools, and corporate companies to mention a few.

The Municipality through the Public Health and Environment Department (PHED) has vital role to play in the outbreak of COVID-19, mandated by The Public Health Act 1969. The Municipality is working closely with the Ministry of Health in disseminating information to the public on the outbreak and how they can play a role in preventing further spread.

In lieu of the actions that the Ministry has taken, the Local Authority has also taken the ensuring that precautionary measures are taken within the Urban jurisdiction. The Municipality has taken efforts to conduct civic education to all Ezulwini stakeholders on how to take precautionary, measures to avoid the spread of the virus. The following have been identified as risk groups because of the high level of exposure due to interaction with clients on a daily basis.

  • Town Council Employees
  • Schools
  • Social Care Points
  • Corporate Offices and Service Providers
  • Constructions Projects
  • Public Transport
  • The Business Community

2. Risk Assessment and Hazard Identification

The Public Health and Environment Department has carried out a hazard analysis and risk assessment for the various listed stakeholders in Annexure 1. It is evident that high risk groups are those that do not have access to ablution facilities such as labourers who work onsite, and some construction projects. For corporate offices, and some commercial establishments, there is high exposure due to contaminated surfaces and close interaction with clients. Accommodation establishments interact with customers who are tourists from various countries and hence that presents a high risk of transmission. The hazards and associated risks are communicated during the civic education.

The efforts of the Municipality were based on these facts and information. Ezulwini Municipality has set up its precautionary measures into two (2) folds; internal measures which are targeted at mainly employees and clients. The external measures are for the various business community i.e. commercial, residential, accommodation establishments, markets, schools, care points and construction projects etc.

3. Provision of Internal Hygiene Kits and Change of Clocking System

The Municipality provides vitamin C supplements and hand sanitizers to all employees and entry points respectively. Customers and ratepayers are also encouraged to use electronic means of payments. Only services that are essential are allowed to continue operation while other employees stay/work from home. Employees at high risk of infection are provided with Personal Protective Equipment and the clocking system is proposed to change from Bio-metric to Card System to minimize surface contact.

4. Distribution of Hand Sanitisers to Market Places and Social Centers

With assistance from the National Disaster Management Agency, the Municipality was and is still able to distribute soap/detergents and hand sanitizers to market market places including Macondza and Thandabantu and Social centers around the area of Ezuwlini.

5. Fumigation of Public Spaces

Market places, public toilets, bus stops and other public spaces were found to pose greater risks to contamination of Corona-virus. For that reason, a campaign to fumigate these spaces facilitated by the National Disaster Management Agency is carried out by the Municipality of Ezulwini to ensure these places are safe for the public. Also, local authority offices and trucks are fumigated to ensure a reduced risk of contamination of the Corona-virus.

6. Distribution of Food Parcels and Water Tanks

Clean and hygienic hands have proven to be the key to success in preventing continued spread of the virus. While soap and water are effective way to keep clean hands, clean running water is not always readily available to some member of the public. For this reason, the NDMA in collaboration with the municipality has distributed water tanks and foot pedal wash basins to various public spaces and social centers. Also, the municipality distributed Food parcels to social centers including Bhelina, Nyonyane, Somjalose and Mvutjini..

7. COVID-19 Regulations

The Municipality uses the Coronavirus Regulations (2020) which have been promulgated to deal with such matters, however it is important to emphasizes education is key and it is our duty as a Local Authority to first educate the stakeholders; be it the public or residents so that they first understand what COVID-19 is and the role they need to play to prevent its spread. The regulations include:

  • Discouraging the visitors to sit and eat in restaurants but instead providing a call and pick up service in most of the restaurants in Ezulwini.
  • The use of hand sanitizers at entrance in each retail outlet
  • Social distancing (marking of 1 meter in retail outlet) including the stay at home regulations.
  • Display of educational materials such as poster in strategic areas around the Town to educate and remind visitors about precautionary measures.

8. Inspection on Compliance to COVID-19 Regulations

  • Ongoing surveillance and monitoring by the Town Council inspectorate to ensure that the requirements if the COVID -19 Regulations (2020) are observed by the business community.
  • The Municipality has an existing relationship with the business community in the town and uses those relationships to communicate and enforce compliance.
  • The Royal Eswatini Police Services have also played a vital role in ensuring that the COVID -19 Precautionary measures are observed.
  • The residents have been actively reporting shops that are not complying whereupon investigations are made to follow up on such complaints.

See Gallery for pictures and graphical representation.

Stay home, stay safe!