Covid-19 overshadows eSwatini king's birthday celebration

APA-Mbabane (Mbabane)

For the first time in 33 years the king of eSwatini celebrated his birthday in a private ceremony overshadowed by the Covid-19 pandemic.

King Mswati III turned 52 on Sunday but due to the coronavirus  pandemic, he could not hold celebration usually attended by the public as has been the case since 1987, a year after his coronation. 

The cancellation of the public event that has an annual budget of about $5 million was announced at the end of March when the country went into a lockdown in an attempt to stop the virus from spreading. 

This year's event was attended only by members of the royal family at Lozitha Royal Palace. 

With a total of 24 positive cases of COVID-19 and one death, eSwatini's extended lockdown is set to end on April 30.


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