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COVID-19 ALERT!

THE rising Covid-19 positivity rate is alarming and calls for re-strategising of the sensitisation campaign that will attract the attention of all citizens across the breadth and length of the country.

It is certainly worrying that active cases could increase from 400 at the beginning of the month to 900, an indication that the virus is actively spreading.

Sadly, most citizens have dropped the guard at the time when the cold season is getting to the peak while political interactions have also heightened.

It is frightening that the country is now recording not less than 100 new cases on a daily basis, as yesterday 149 cases were detected out of  5, 144 tests conducted, bringing the accumulative total to 93, 428.

Health Permanent Secretary – Technical Services – Kennedy Malama has rightly put it that the current trend is a clear indication that the number of Covid-19 positive individuals in communities is on the rise; the virus is actively spreading.

More alarming is the fact that 34 patients are on oxygen therapy while nine are in critical condition.

Therefore, the Ministry of Health and other players should scale up the sensitisation programme, particularly targeting political leaders and their members who are gathering in large numbers, clearly breaching the five golden rules.

Political campaigns have continued in a manner that is fertile for the rapid spread of the virus!

It is important, therefore, for the senior political leaders in all the parties to demonstrate responsibility.

They ought to impress upon their members to stop gathering in large numbers and initiate alternative ways of engaging the electorate.

It is practically impossible to maintain reasonable physical distancing in huge rallies and it is just logical that such must be avoided.

Worse still, political cadres are spotted crammed in vehicles on campaign trails as they are being transported to the rally venues.

They beat drums and dance in close proximity without masks on their faces while in other instances they hug as though Covid-19 did not exist.

In such instances even the multi-sectoral teams consisting of medical personnel, police and council officials may not manage such huge gatherings.

Thus, it is incumbent upon political leaders to take charge and only meet in smaller numbers or better still conduct door-to-door campaigns.

Political parties should also fully utilise the social media platforms to reach out to the electorate in Zambia and abroad.

Posters, fliers, radio and television broadcasts are other channels through which campaign messages can be relayed to the voters.

The task of educating the public about Covid-19 should not be left to the Ministry of Health officials, but traditional leaders, the media, the Church and community leaders must join forces to enhance publicity.

Learning institutions at all levels are avenues which must be used to effectively spread safety messages to learners, who would in turn relay information to others.

In the meantime, people should continue getting vaccinated, especially those going for the second dose.

Zambians must observe what is happening in other countries such as India to appreciate the devastating effects of this pandemic.

Examples abound!

The rising trend can be controlled if only people observed the five golden rules and got vaccinated in good time.

Keep safe!

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