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MBABANE – Yesterday was Cabinet ministers’ turn to get tested for COVID-19. The process was conducted yesterday morning by health workers in the old conference room at the Cabinet Offices. Among the first to get tested was Deputy Prime Minister Themba Masuku, who said he felt duty-bound to test not only because Manzini North MP Macford Sibandze had tested positive, but because he was the Chairperson of the National Disaster Task Team. 

Journalists were also encouraged by members of Cabinet to test as they were also on the frontline covering news and were at risk of contracting the virus. The procedure lasted no longer than two minutes per person after their contact details, health history and history of travel were taken. The body temperature on the forms was also indicated, but was particularly highlighted if it was 37.5 degree Celcius and above.  The procedure was simple as the health practitioners, who was in full personal protective gear, would use a cotton swab or Q-Tip which looked like an elongated cotton bud.

The cotton swab is inserted into the throat and should not come into contact with the tongue. After a quick sweep of about 2-3 seconds, the procedure is done and the health practitioner returns the cotton bud into a personalised test tube, which is sealed.

The health practitioner said the results would be available in the next 24-48 hours.
Most of the ministers, including Attorney General Sifiso Khumalo, had an easy time undergoing the test save for Minister of Commerce, Industry and Trade Manqoba Khumalo, who could not ‘relax’ his tongue.  Eventually, his sample was taken through his nostrils.

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