HealthLocal News

Covid-19: time bomb

By OLIVER SAMBOKO and SILUMESI MALUMO
MOST Zambians are not taking the covid-19 pandemic seriously and have continued to ignore health guidelines such as social distancing and wearing of face masks.
A check by Daily Nation at some selected shopping malls in Lusaka found that all the chain stores dealing in food were in breach of coronavirus guidelines as workers were found serving ready to eat food to customers without putting on gloves and face masks.
And when contacted, Zambia National Public Health Institute (ZNPHI) country director Professor Victor Mukonka warned chain stores selling ready to eat food to the public to adhere to strict COVID 19 prevention measures or risk being pounced on by Heath inspectors.
Dr Mukonka said a team of health workers was going to be dispatched to all shopping malls and other shopping centres to ensure that prevention guidelines put in place by Government were being followed.
He said it was wrong for any public place to abrogate the guidelines that had been put in place to prevent the spread of COVID 19 in the country and that he was surprised that some chain stores had still did not provide gloves and masks as directed.
Only Shoprite was among chain stores providing masks, though Dr Mukonka advised that they provide the right ones. Dr Mukonka also revealed that he had engaged Shoprite management to immediately follow his advice and provide the correct masks to the workers.
Meanwhile, scores of traders in Lusaka and Copperbelt have continued ignoring the Presidential directive of wearing face masks and social distancing in public places.
In Lusaka’s Soweto market, traders were mingling without regard to wearing masks of face cloth to cover their mouths and noses. In Kitwe, a Daily Nation team found Chisokone Market beaming with traders and shoppers with face masks, contrary to the warning from the District Commissioner.
Public buses in Lusaka and Copperbelt have continued loading passengers without regard to the reduction in passenger numbers as advised by local authorities. All intra city buses were being loaded to capacity.
A spot check at Soweto and Lusaka’s Central Business District found traders and vendors freely moving without fear of covid-19.
The marketeers have also ignored the social distancing which the Ministry of Health had emphasised on in order to prevent the spread of COVID 19.
On Thursday last week during the a national address on COVID 19 by the Head of State, directed every citizen to wear face masks in public places such as markets, bus stations and in buses as it was critical to stop the spread of the pandemic.
But it seems that the people especially the marketeers have not shown interest to adhere to the Presidential directive. The businesses were going on as usual which could pose a serious risky to the spread of COVID 19.
In Kabwe, it was business as usual on the rail crossing as street vendors without masks tried to sell their ware to motorists.

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