HealthOpinion

BOOST COVID-19 FIGHT

ZAMBIANS have completely dropped the guard against Covid-19 even after a reminder of a possible second wave of the pandemic.
Many institutions, apart from commercial banks and large supermarkets, have done away with the check-points which were mounted at entrances and other strategic points.
Sadly, even public health institutions have relaxed the strict guidelines as nurses and other health workers are spotted trudging the corridors without masks and shaking hands among themselves as though they are not the custodians of health regulations.
People throng hospitals during visiting hours in the wards, some of them without masks.
Police officers, who were at one time detailed to enforce adherence on public transport vehicles, mill around busy roads with masks dangling from their chins and stick their heads into buses and other automobiles.
Law enforcement officers are more concerned with checking unlicensed and overloaded public buses without any thought about unmasked passengers.
Nowadays it is common for passengers on buses to travel without masks and squeezed in such a manner as to emphatically defy the social distancing rule.
Bars, night clubs and other liquor outlets are operating outside stipulated times, in fact, on a daily basis.
Wash-basins that characterised shops and other buildings have disappeared from corridors, except at Shoprite, Pick ‘n’ pay, Pep Store, Choppies, Hungry Lion, Game Store and other South African-run large outlets.
Commercial banks are still strict with Covid-19 adherence.
Last week, Health Minister Chitalu Chilufya cautioned all citizens to ensure compliance for the country to avoid a second wave of infections of the killer disease.
Alas, the message fell on deaf ears!
European countries and the United States are still teetering with soaring numbers of infections and deaths, yet they have advanced health facilities and modern technology; their economies are strong.
In the US, there are 5, 584, 329 million active cases with 280, 210 deaths, while 8, 468, 702 have recovered. The total number of cases stand at 14, 333, 241 since the pandemic broke out.
In the United Kingdom, active cases stand at 1, 613, 241 while 60, 113 have died, with the number of cases standing at 1, 674, 134.
The statistics are certainly scary!
Zambia, therefore, must reinvigorate the fight against the pandemic, particularly in high-density areas where residents have disregarded all the guidelines.
The awareness programmes must resume in mainstream media and other platforms with a large following.
The local authorities, Ministry of Health and police officers should reactivate their inspections in public places like markets, bars and night clubs.
In the past, bar operators were undertaking their business “underground” but are now hosting patrons and selling beer in open bars with loud music.
This is being done right under the noses of police officers and members of the multi-sectoral teams.
Lest citizens forget, Covid-19 is a killer disease, which becomes difficult to control, especially in the second phase.
Government has spent colossal sums of money in the surveillance, control and treatment of this disease since it broke out in March this year.
Cooperating partners and other institutions, too, have spent money in assisting this country fight this pandemic.
Information about this disease is in the public domain, and therefore, no one should be forced to protect their life and that of others.
All citizens must be responsible and remind one another to adhere to regulations such as wearing face masks, observing social distancing and avoiding, at all costs, hand-shakes.

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