WHEN will sense prevail amongst some of the leaders in the country and face reality over the Covid-19 pandemic that has hit the country?

The medical personnel might not say it openly but we are sure they are frustrated by the attitude from certain quarters of society, particularly politicians.

In what has become something like a routine, the Ministry of Health yesterday announced that the country has recorded 1, 231 Covid-19 cases out of 10, 015 tests conducted in the last 24 hours.

Ministry of Health Permanent Secretary for Technical Services Dr Kennedy Malama said the country has recorded 1, 231 new cases of Covid-19 out of 10, 015 tests conducted and six deaths recorded in the last 24 hours in Lusaka and Southern provinces.

But without any regard to the seriousness of the Covid-19 pandemic, there is Mr Joseph Akafumba, the interim president of the National Democratic Congress disputing moves to discourage public campaign rallies.

Mr Akafumba claimed that the Electoral Commission of Zamia (ECZ) was working with the Patriotic Front towards cancelling rallies and to eventually cancel the elections.

Such statements are not only irresponsible but show little understanding of national concerns.  Surely, Mr Akafumba should realise that politics aside, the country is facing a very serious health pandemic.

The Ministry of Health is run by technocrats whose advice on the Covid-19 pandemic is devoid of political affiliation.

The ECZ for its part, banned political rallies to stem the spread of Covid-19 through such gatherings that do not observe any of the health precautions prescribed by the medical experts.

It is a fact that in countries like India, the country is paying a heavy price for disregarding health guidelines by allowing political rallies and religious pilgrimages.

The result is that people travelled across the country spreading infection even to areas that were deemed safe havens.

What is disheartening about the Zambian situation is that it is people like Mr Akafumba who are supposed to partner the health authorities in awareness programmes who are undermining the government’s efforts in promoting a safer Covid-free environment.

No wonder PF Media Director Antonio Mwanza says Mr Akafumba is not fit to be a leader because anyone who calls for the disregard of the law is   trying to cause anarchy.

Mr Mwanza said Mr Akafumba’s calls on political parties to disobey   ECZ suspension of public rallies amid a spike in Covid- 19 cases, shows that the opposition leader does not mean well for the country hence promoting lawlessness.

At yesterday’s media briefing, Dr Malama said the country has recorded 1, 231 new cases of Covid-19 out of 10, 015 tests conducted and six deaths recorded in the last 24 hours in Lusaka and Southern provinces.

Dr Malama cautioned that the country is likely to reach 500 in-patients by next week thereby straining the health systems.

Obviously, these figures are not being manufactured at the Ministry of Headquarters but are a true reflection of what is obtaining in the health sector.

It is important for all Zambians to realise that stemming the pandemic is a national affair that all must take seriously.

Although some politicians might want to mislead the public over the ban on political rallies, people should realise that the ultimate decision is theirs as individuals – stay away from such activities and remain safe.

As we have so often pointed out, the ECZ has been very clear that campaigning for the August 12 elections has not been banned – it is public rallies that are not allowed.

People must be Covid-19 wise and choose health.

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