Statement by Lesotho Chamber of Commerce & Industry (LCCI) in Relation to the Effects of COVID-19 on the Basotho Nation

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As the LCCI, we have taken note of the adverse effects that the pandemic has and is continuing to have on business in all its facets. In recognition thereof, we have sought to approach various stakeholders to seek an understanding of what role we can play as business to mitigate the effects of the virus.

In an effort to have a factual understanding of COVID-19, the LCCI took on board all publications made by the Ministry of Health and further went on to meet with the World Health Organization office.

From this validation exercise, the following was ascertained:
1) That much as Lesotho remains the only country in Africa that does not have a reported case of Covid-19, the current state of affairs still warrants that great caution be exercised particularly when mass testing has not yet taken place.
2) That the Government of Lesotho has outlined through the Ministry of Health that it has and is continuing to put in place measures relating to testing and the quarantining of suspected cases/individuals.
3) That much as the World Health Organization does not specifically prescribe Lock-downs, it does, however, support governments once such a position has been taken from a policy perspective.

As the LCCI, we have since opened a COVID–19 specific Solidarity Fund where we invite big business, organizations of goodwill, associations and individuals to send through their financial contributions to assist in the fight against COVID-19. Contributions have already started flowing in.

Regard being had to the above, the LCCI makes the following recommendations:
a) That all facets of businesses be allowed to operate in a manner that observes Public Health mitigation measures; as our founded fear is that a continued full scale lock-down is likely to cause irreparable harm to business and job security.
b) That Government should expedite its fulfillment of COVID -19 mitigation support promises made to business;
c) That Government should expedite payment to suppliers that rendered services to various Ministries and government departments.
d) That all facets of society should be urged to comply with the Public Health recommendations made by the World Health Organization namely;
– The regular washing of hands with soap and/or the use of sanitizers
– Observing social distancing
– Avoidance of handshaking and embraces
– Utilization of facial masks to cover the mouth and nose.

e) That testing should continue to be rolled out to ensure that there is a credible date base to inform decision making.
f) That management of all boarders of entry into Lesotho should continue to be enforced in parallel to efforts to curb illegal boarder crossings.
g) That Government should continue to ensure compliance with measures geared at managing the pandemic.
h) That all businesses to ensure that they operate within the parameters of Public Health compliance.

In conclusion, the LCCI pledges its commitment to continue working with Government, all facets of business and all those who have a role to play in the fight against COVID-19 with a view to ensuring that we move speedily towards a state of normalcy for business and the nation at large.

COVID-19 SOLIDARITY FUND BANKING DETAILS
Account Name : LESOTHO CHAMBER OF COMMERCE AND INDUSTRY
Bank Name : LESOTHO POST BANK
Account Number : 1026634500011
Branch : MASERU
Branch Code : 500100
Swift Code : LESHLSMM

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