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eSwatini PM: Bigger neighbours could've done more to help in COVID-19 fight

Ambrose Dlamini told foreign journalists that countries in the region should have cooperated more closely and leveraged their strength to help smaller countries buy personal protective equipment.

Eswatini Prime Minister Ambrose Dlamini. Picture: @EswatiniGovern1/Twitter

JOHANNESBURG – eSwatini’s Prime Minister Ambrose Dlamini said that bigger countries in the region could have done more to assist smaller neighbours to get hold of personal protective equipment at the start of the COVID-19 epidemic.

The country is assessing its lockdown means and its impact on the country.

But Dlamini said there were no hard feelings.

The two countries are as good as joined at the hip, but at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, the much smaller kingdom appears to have found itself out in the cold.

Dlamini told foreign journalists that countries in the region should have cooperated more closely and leveraged their strength to help smaller countries buy personal protective equipment.

"Some countries perhaps have got strength and they've got better connections than others, so we should have really leveraged off the regional strength, which didn't really happen. But we can't blame anybody because no-one was really prepared for COVID-19. It was like a tsunami that came and hit, and people tended to be more internally focused."

The Prime Minister said both countries had to focus on getting their health systems ready and the impact of the pandemic on their economies has been quite severe.

The Kingdom of eSwatini has reported a total of just over 4,600 confirmed COVID-19 cases so far and new infections have been declining in the past few weeks.

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