The government of Eswatini has angrily dismissed as fake news reports that King Mswati III was critically ill and had been hospitalised after struggling to breathe because of the coronavirus.
Acting government spokesperson Sabelo Dlamini said in a statement on the government’s Twitter account. “Government has noted fake social media reports claiming His Majesty King Mswati III was critically ill with Covid-19. This is purely fake news. His Majesty is well and in good health.
“Such fabrication perpetuated by elements intent on sowing confusion and panic is unacceptable and appalling. Government wishes to warn perpetrators of such misinformation that they are in breach of Covid-19 regulation and risk prosecution,” he warned.
The initial reports came from Swaziland News who cited high profile royal sources claiming the monarch was admitted at Manzana Royal Hospital in a critical condition and struggling to breathe.
Just last month, the same newspaper reported that Mswati was in self-isolation due to the coronavirus, after he had met a delegation from Taiwan that came to donate helicopters. The king is said to have shook hands with two soldiers from Taiwan who were part of the delegation.