Here’s How King Mswati is Handling Covid-19 Crisis in eSwatini

In January 2021, the government of eSwatini announced that it would vaccinate all its 1.3 million citizens against Covid-19, setting aside at least U.S.$14 million to do so. This comes after the country’s prime minister Ambrose Dlamini died of Covid-19 at the age of 52, in a South African hospital in December, 2020. According to Health Minister Lizzie Nkosi, the government will no longer be using the AstraZeneca vaccine which they would have received from the COVAX Facility, the global vaccine distribution scheme co-led by the World Health Organisation. After weeks of speculation and denial, King Mswati III finally admitted in a speech on February 19, 2021, that he too had suffered from Covid-19 and was hospitalised for more than 10 days. He further stated that there was an antiviral drug, which he did not name, that could be used to treat the illness. The kingdom of eSwatini has recorded almost 17,000 Covid-19 infections and 644 deaths. Nkosi told Reuters the government would consider doses from Pfizer or any other shot endorsed by the WHO