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Eswatini’s labor minister Makhosi Vilakati dies of COVID-19

ESWATINI, South Africa  – Another Eswatini politician has died of Covid-19-related illness in South Africa while receiving treatment.

Acting Prime Minister Themba Masuku said Labour and Social Minister Makhosi Vilakati died on Saturday at a health facility in South Africa, where he was admitted for a specialised procedure arising from Covid-19 infection.

Vilakati was transferred from Lubombo Referral Hospital in Eswatini to a hospital in South Africa on Saturday as the required treatment was not available in Eswatini, Masuku said in a short statement.

Vilakati is the second high-ranking politician from Eswatini to die of Covid-19 while receiving treatment in South Africa.

In December, Prime Minister Ambrose Mandvulo Dlamini died of Covid-19 after being admitted to a hospital in Eswatini with mild symptoms on November 23, a week after testing positive.

He was transferred to a hospital in South African on December 1. At the time he was reportedly responding well to treatment for Covid-19.

Health Minister Lizzie Nkosi on Sunday reported 21 new deaths and 154 new Covid-19 infection cases. The country has recorded 9,242 recoveries.

“A total of 1,092 results were received today (Sunday), of which 154 tested positive. The total number of Covid-19 confirmed cases to date is 14,484. Twenty-one deaths have been reported over the past 48 hours, taking the total Covid-19 related deaths to 479,” she said in a statement.

She said the Covid-19 curve was increasing and the country could not afford to be complacent in preventing the spread of the coronavirus.

“Our goal as a nation is to continue to halt the spread of Covid-19 and reduce the deaths associated with it. Achieving this goal calls for a collective effort. Every individual has a role to play in protecting themselves, their families, their communities and the nation from this deadly, contagious illness,” she said.

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