JOHANNESBURG, South Africa

Lesotho’s Prime Minister Thomas Thabane announced Tuesday that his government will begin easing restrictions imposed last month to curb the outbreak of the novel coronavirus in the mountainous kingdom.   

Addressing the nation on state television, Thabane said the government will now allow non-essential businesses to start operating from Wednesday for limited hours so as to protect the economy. 

Lesotho, which is completely surrounded by South Africa, is the only African country which has not reported a single case of COVID-19 despite its neighbor having confirmed at least 7,572 cases and 148 deaths. 

Thabane said tertiary institutions and high schools will be allowed to start opening gradually while public offices and state companies will open for limited hours. 

However, borders remain closed as the country continues to monitor the situation. 

The prime minister also cautioned citizens to remain vigilant by wearing masks and following guidelines set by the Ministry of Health and the World Health Organization.

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