#Top5atFive: Here’s what’s happening in Lesotho and around the globe

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From a Pick ‘n Pay robbery to Cabala’s new song, catch up with the latest mid-week headlines.

1. Local headlines

Six days ago, Pick ‘n Pay Masianokeng launched its official operation, opening its doors to the public. On Tuesday evening about 6:45pm it got robbed by an undisclosed number of armed men.

Store manager Kojang Malahleha confirmed that the store was indeed robbed by gunmen. She mentioned that gladly there were no fatalities, however money and brand new phones were taken.

“These men asked customers to lie down, holding them hostage while they carried out the robbery. They opened fire on civilian cars on their way out. The police arrived at the scene after the culprits were gone.”

[Pick n Pay robbed, The Reporter]

2. Local headlines

The Deputy Minister of Health Hon. Nto Moakhi disclosed that the Ministry of Health (MoH) will destroy faulty Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). This move comes after health professionals flagged quality problems in some of the PPEs. According to the Deputy Minister, the PPEs under spotlight are those which have been donated and were housed at the Mafeteng based National Drug Service Organisation (NDSO).

The Deputy Minister also pointed out that these PPEs could pose a health risk to the health workers. He further said that the government has procured more PPEs through the National COVID-19 Secretariat.

The Lesotho Nursing Association (LNA) President Raphael Tlali said they will not accept the “sub-standard” Personal Protective Equipment which the government is dispatching to different health centers. Tlali said some PPEs (medical aprons and isolation hooded coveralls) are wrong-sized and do not fit the health workers. He further complained that some overalls cannot be fastened at the rear as their straps are too short. 

The MoH Supply Chain Director Rona Matšoara said in situations where the procurement processes were engaged, there would be remedy as per the procurement guidelines and protocols. She said the regulations afford that if the procurement specifications have not been met, such consignment can be taken back to the supplier to supply as per requirements stipulated in the tender advertisements.

[MoH to decommission faulty PPEs, Informative News]

3. Global headlines

Recent reports have suggested that herd immunity may be achieved when as little as 50% of the population is immune. Herd immunity occurs when enough of the population is immune to the coronavirus, either via exposure or vaccine, for transmission to wane.

That’s a welcome projection in light of earlier estimates that at least 70% of the population would need immunity before we’d be at “herd” level. But these estimates are largely irrelevant and a distraction from the tools experts know work in combatting the coronavirus’s spread, World Health Organisation officials said during a media briefing Monday. 

“Right now, as a planet, as a global population, we are nowhere close to the levels of immunity required to stop this disease from transmitting,” Mike Ryan, the executive director of the WHO Health Emergencies Programme, said.

We don’t know how long protection from the virus lasts after infection. One way to develop protection from the coronavirus is to survive it or be exposed to it, which can lead you to develop antibodies that fight against the virus. But while experts do know such a response exists, they don’t know how strong it is, how long it lasts, and how it may vary between people. 

The other, and superior, way to protect yourself against the coronavirus is to get a vaccine. But a safe and effective one is not yet available. Once a vaccine is available, it won’t work in a subset of everyone who gets it. “We can’t confuse vaccination coverage with the proportion of the population that’s immune,” said Bruce Aylward, the Senior Advisor on Organisational Change to the Director-General.

[WHO: ‘We are nowhere close’ to having the herd immunity needed to stop the coronavirus, Business Insider]

4. In lifestyle

After a long break from music, Jonathan Tebatso known as ‘Calaba’ to his fans is back with his new single ‘Liphala’ which he says has been received well by his fans. Tebatso who is from Leribe, says that next month he will be releasing visuals for his single and that fans should expect something different. 

He said he took a long break from music to reflect on himself and to try and perfect his craft. He said the music industry is challenging sometimes, so he needed some time to grow as an individual.

“Sometimes being an up and coming musician is fraught with many challenges like lack of equipment to produce your music. But I feel like taking that break has helped me come back as a better artist, and my craft is better than before.

“My new single actually expresses all the challenges that I endured, that contributed to me taking a break. It is a very emotional song and I felt that it is a good way to connect with my fans,” Tebatso.

[Cabala back with a bang, The Reporter]

5. What we’re reading

It’s easy for job seekers—or those worried about losing their jobs—to become self-critical and lose their confidence, especially given the job market right now. If you need a little encouragement, this article has a few recommendations on how you can stay upbeat and positive during your job search. 

[How To Stay Positive During A Long And Exhausting Job Search, Forbes]

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Matlhabeli Molaoli
Matlhabeli is a reader, an Afro-feminist and a firm believer in the power of human-centered design to create lasting social-economic impact. She is a rising junior at Smith College where she majors in both Biochemistry and Anthropology and also dabbles in venture consulting for the local start-up ecosystem. Matlhabeli also enjoys dialogue so she has spent much of her time attending, speaking at and organising TEDx conferences in both Lesotho and South Africa during her time as a student at the African Leadership Academy.