DESPITE the covid 19 cases going down, people of Southern province and Livingstone in particular as a tourist capital should not drop guard to the health protocols, Southern Province Minister Cornelius Mweetwa has said.

Mr. Mweetwa said he has noticed that some people in the province have stopped putting on face masks, sanitizing, observing social distancing and washing hands with soap.
Speaking in Livingstone on Wednesday after he toured the empty isolation centre after receiving a donation of 100 oxygen cylinders from the Indian community living in the diaspora but born in Livingstone, to the Livingstone Central Teaching Hospital, Mr. Mweetwa urged the public to continue adhering to the health protocols.
“We are here in Livingstone, at the Covid-19 centre and the good news is that there is no patient in the centre. But the absence does not mean we are not at risk. That is what we would like as government to see especially that this is a tourist capital. We would like this to continue but for that to happen, it will mean that citizens across the country will be at liberty to come in and out of Livingstone,” he said.
The message is that let us continue adhering to the covid protocols. The government’s relaxation of covid protocols did not mean that now we are not supposed to observe social distancing, wearing face masks, sanitizing hands and so on,” the Minister said.
Mr. Mweetwa said that the relaxation of the covid protocols was meant to allow other sectors that hold the country from going forward to function as they were grounded because of Covid-19.
“So, the absence of Covid-19 patients here in Livingstone does not mean that we should stop adhering to the health protocols. We have heard of the fourth wave coming and we don’t know how it will take us,” he said.
“As government, we know that our health personnel are capable but for them to respond, we know that they need accessories of Covid-19. We also note that the hospital has come up with an initiative to have a Covid ICU centre and they need an extension to the current facility. As government, we feel it must be designed in such a way that we must not allow so much heat,” Mr. Mweetwa said.

“If need be, we stand ready as government to come in and work with management at the hospital to ensure that the ICU is put up…. but we would like to commend management for making sure that some of the challenges that are intimately with the hospital are addressed by management,” he said.

“This is the more reason that some individual born in Livingstone have decided to respond to the situation by donating the oxygen cylinders to the hospital and as government, we are very happy with such gestures,” the minister said.
Earlier, Livingstone City Mayor Constance Mukelabai informed the minister that the Indian community was working closely with her office in ensuring that it continues to help the hospital in different ways.

Meanwhile, the representative of the donors Brush Parbho assured the minister and the hospital authorities of continued support.

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