The African nation which became the basis for the Hollywood blockbuster Black Panther is in a miraculous position during the COVID-19 pandemic as the rest of the continent battles the virus.
The Kingdom of Lesotho is a small country within the borders of South Africa, with a population of more than 2 million people.
As the rest of Africa faces the prospect of the coronavirus pandemic getting worse before it gets any better, Lesotho has bucked the trend and is actually beginning to lift its lockdown measures.
A total of 53 African nations have reported cases of coronavirus, while Lesotho is the only country in the continent to still have zero cases.
However there remains some concerns with the southern region of Africa, which is the worst affected by COVID-19.
In South Africa – the nation which surrounds Lesotho – there are over 10,000 cases and 194 people have died from coronavirus.
Last week, Lesotho Prime Minister Tom Thabane announced that schools, churches and bars are set to reopen, with a few restrictions and limitations applied.
Social distancing must continue and face masks must be worn in public to prevent any spread of the virus.
Mr Thabane also announced that mass testing would commence in Lesotho, which is expected to uncover cases of COVID-19 and potentially clusters of infection.
Vice-president of global think-tank the Centre for Strategic and International Studies, J. Stephen Morrison, believed the difficulty to access Lesotho with borders closed and the lockdown measures by South Africa may be some reasons its avoided a positive coronavirus case to date. But he believes the mountainous country is bound to be affected eventually.
“They may be successful up to a point for now, but their population doesn’t have immunity from this,” he told USA Today.
“Lesotho is a country that has been prone to instability.
“That sort of instability doesn’t speak well to control over a virus.”
Other nations with over one million people which claim to have no cases of coronavirus include North Korea and Turkmenistan. Many island nations with smaller populations also claim to be free of COVID-19.
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