[<< wikipedia] COVID-19 pandemic in Eswatini
The COVID-19 pandemic in Eswatini is part of the ongoing worldwide pandemic of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). The COVID-19 pandemic was confirmed to have reached Eswatini in March 2020.


== Background ==
On 12 January 2020, the World Health Organization (WHO) confirmed that a novel coronavirus was the cause of a respiratory illness in a cluster of people in Wuhan City, Hubei Province, China, which was reported to the WHO on 31 December 2019.The case fatality ratio for COVID-19 has been much lower than SARS of 2003, but the transmission has been significantly greater, with a significant total death toll. Model-based simulations for Eswatini suggest that the 95% confidence interval for the time-varying reproduction number R t was lower than 1.0 from August to October 2020.


== Timeline ==


=== March ===
On 14 March, the country's first case of COVID-19 was  confirmed . A 33-year-old woman, who returned from the United States at the end of February and then travelled to Lesotho before returning home to Eswatini, entered isolation. Two suspected cases were identified by 11 March 2020, the first a woman returning from Denmark (or possibly Germany), and the other a woman who had hosted visitors from Germany.On 24 March, the ministry of health announced a fifth confirmed case. A 52-year-old male who had traveled to the United States earlier in the same month had tested positive.During March, nine persons tested positive. At the end of the month all nine cases were still active.


=== April ===
On 16 April, the country recorded its first COVID-19-related death, a 59-year-old man with diabetes as an underlying condition. This month, 91 persons tested positive, bringing the total number of confirmed cases since the start of the outbreak to 100. At the end of April, 87 cases were active.


=== May ===
During the month 185 persons tested positive, bringing the total number of confirmed cases since the start of the outbreak to 285. The death toll rose to 2. By the end of May, 94 cases were active (8% more than at the end of April).


=== June ===
On 23 June, the government announced it would ban alcohol as of 1 July in an attempt to contain the spread after a rapid increase in new cases over the previous two weeks.During June, 527 persons tested positive, bringing the total number of confirmed cases to 812. The death toll rose to 11. By the end of June, 393 cases were active (318% more than at the end of May).


=== July ===
There were 1836 new cases in July, bringing the total number of confirmed cases to 2648. The death toll rose to 40. By the end of July, 1215 patients had recovered while 1393 cases were active (254% more than at the end of June).


=== August ===
There were 1929 new cases in August, raising the total number of cases to 4577. The death toll rose to 91. There were 957 active cases at the end of the month, representing a decrease of 31% since the end of July.


=== September ===
There were 885 new cases in September, bringing the total number of confirmed cases to 5462. The death toll rose to 108. The number of recovered patients increased to 4859, leaving 495 active cases at the end of the month.


=== October ===
There were 455 new cases in October, bringing the total number of confirmed cases to 5917. The death toll rose to 117. The number of recovered patients increased to 5646, leaving 154 active cases at the end of the month.


=== November ===
There were 502 new cases in November, bringing the total number of confirmed cases to 6419. The death toll rose to 122. The number of recovered patients increased to 6006, leaving 291 active cases at the end of the month.


=== December ===
On 14 December, Eswatini's prime minister Ambrose Dlamini became the first head of government in the world to die in office from COVID-19. There were 2939 new cases in December, raising the total number of confirmed cases to 9358. The death toll rose to 205. The number of recovered patients increased to 7073, leaving 2080 active cases at the end of the month.


=== January ===
In early January, the health ministry announced that it had had set aside 200 million emalangeni to roll out vaccines to its 1.3 million population, approximately E200 per person.Two Cabinet ministers, Christian Ntshangase and Makhosi Vilakati, succumbed to COVID-19 on 16 January and 23 January respectively.There were 6353 new cases in January, raising the total number of confirmed cases to 15711. The death toll rose to 565. The number of recovered patients increased to 10478, leaving 4668 active cases at the end of the month.


=== February ===
On February 19, King Mswati III revealed that he had tested positive for COVID-19 "for a couple days" in the first weeks of January, and had since recovered quickly due to an antiviral drug provided by the Republic of China. This was confirmed by Taiwanese health minister Chen Shih-chung. However, neither of them revealed which drug had been used.There were 1303 new cases in February, raising the total number of confirmed cases to 17014. The death toll rose to 652. The number of recovered patients increased to 14676, leaving 1686 active cases at the end of the month.


=== March ===
Mass vaccination began on 24 March, initially with 32,000 doses of AstraZeneca's Covishield vaccine.There were 323 new cases in March, raising the total number of confirmed cases to 17337. The death toll rose to 667. The number of recovered patients increased to 16528, leaving 142 active cases at the end of the month.


=== April ===
There were 1121 new cases in April, raising the total number of confirmed cases to 18458. The death toll rose to 671. The number of recovered patients increased to 17743, leaving 44 active cases at the end of the month.


=== May ===
There were 133 new cases in May, taking the total number of confirmed cases to 18591. The death toll rose to 673. The number of recovered patients increased to 17870, leaving 48 active cases at the end of the month.


== See also ==
COVID-19 pandemic in Africa
COVID-19 pandemic by country and territory


== References ==