By OLIVER SAMBOKO
PRESIDENT Edgar Lungu has directed the reopening of some key socio-economic sectors to save the economy from collapsing.
Addressing the nation on Covid-19 public health measures yesterday, President Lungu directed that casinos, gyms and cinemas be reopened but cautioned against complacency in adherence to the measures.
The President also ordered that restaurants be reopened and start operating normally to prevent the economy from collapsing provided they strictly observed the public health guidelines in place.
He said bars and taverns would remain closed and may be considered for reopening depending on how the measures announced yesterday would work in the next 7 – 14 days. He called on Zambians to embrace the “new normal” by accepting that Covid-19 may be there to stay.
The President said Covid-19 had negatively impacted the economy in a way never seen before.
President Lungu also directed that examination classes reopen on June 1, 2020 and urged schools to ensure all hygiene standards were in place for the safety of students in the context of the “new normal.”
Mr Lungu also directed the ministers of Higher and General Education to carry out consultations and plan how other non-examination classes, colleges and universities could reopen in the near future.
He said the measures would be reviewed within 7-14 days subject to the dynamics of the pandemic. President Lungu disclosed that the country had in the last 24 hours recorded 14 new Covid-19 cases out of the 683 tests that were carried out.
The President thanked all front line workers, cooperating partners and private sector as well as Zambians for cooperating with Government during the time of the pandemic.
He said provincial ministers should continue taking the lead in coordinating the multi sectoral response to the Covid-19 war in the regions to ensure the pandemic was defeated.
President Lungu said the Covid-19 pandemic presented an opportunity for citizens to become more self-reliant by embracing economic activities such as agriculture, IT, aquaculture and other economic ventures to improve their lives.
Mr Lungu also directed the Ministry of Finance to ensure conditions for accessing the K10 billion mid-term facility provided by the Bank of Zambia were realistic and not restrictive.
By OLIVER SAMBOKO