Eswatini’s acting Prime Minister Themba Masuku has announced a partial lockdown to prevent the further spread of coronavirus.

The country that was previously known as Swaziland neighbours South Africa where coronavirus cases are surging due to a new variant.

The prime minister said that starting on Friday at midnight, the only public gatherings allowed are funerals with attendance limited to 50 people.

All retailers will close their premises at 18:00 local time, while liquor stores will close at 16:00 local time and remain closed during weekends.

Travel outside eSwatini will only be allowed for medical purposes, school, business and work.

The new restrictions will be in place for 14 days before a review is done.

The country recorded 234 new coronavirus cases on Thursday, the government says, bringing the total cases to 10,773 including 268 deaths.

Former Prime Minister Ambrose Dlamini died last month from the virus.

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