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REVEAL 15 QUARANTINE CENTRES - MPS

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LOBAMBA – MPs have demanded that the Minister of Health, Lizzie Nkosi, reveal the names of the 15 facilities that are used as quarantine sites.


Minister Nkosi, when making a ministerial statement yesterday, stated that the ministry had recognised the need for quarantine facilities as well as additional facilities to house the rapid response and contact-tracing teams.


She said in this regard, the Ministry of Tourism had been tasked with finding facilities for these purposes and a ministerial statement was issued requesting those interested parties to submit quotations.


“Different facilities expressed interest and requested for confidentiality in order to protect future reputation and business,” she said.  Nkosi said to date, 15 facilities had been identified and more facilities were still submitting quotations while others had opted out.


However, this did not go down well with several members of Parliament (MPs), who demanded that the minister reveal these facilities. 


Confidential


One of these was Ndzingeni MP Lutfo Dlamini, who wondered why the hotels wanted to remain confidential when government funds were being used to pay for the accommodation.


“Why do they want to receive government funds if they want to be kept secret, I smell a rat here,” he submitted
Meanwhile, Lobamba Lomdzala MP Marwick Khumalo also stated that it was not understandable why the quarantine centres were being protected.


He said this would definitely punch holes on the level of transparency and accountability which government had in this regard and stated that all the COVID-19 allocations should be accounted for.


He then asked that at what  rates were these hotels paid.
“Is it per room, per person or is the entire establishment paid for because there can’t really be other people accommodated if there were COVID-19 positive patients,” he said.
Khumalo also wondered why one of the facilities was in a densely populated area like Ezulwini instead of being away from people.  


Maphalalelni MP Mabulala Maseko also said government should operate in the open with regard to the hotels and facilities which had been awarded the tenders.


Compromised


“Accountability will be compromised and we also want to know the rates,” he said.  He wondered why government could not use places like the old Bulembu Mine, which were on the outskirts and away from the highly populated areas. 

 
The MPs said places like Mavuso Trade Centre, which were approved as treatment facilities, were being revealed especially since the Head of State had granted permission yet some people wanted to remain unknown.


On another note, the Ndzingeni MP asked if there was any information forthcoming from the World Health Organisation on the use of timbita or traditional concoctions.       


Meanwhile, the minister informed MPs that they had a shortage of transport, in particular ambulances. She said there were 11 ambulances currently at CTA and six of them would be released to the ministry soon.


Motshane MP Robert Magongo stated that he had been reliably informed that two of the ambulances were at the principal secretary in the Ministry of Health’s house and therefore government should fetch them.


She also said they were still faced with a shortage of PPEs for health workers and that they were still looking at ways in which to motivate the staff.

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