The Jesuit Centre for Theological Reflection has warned that laxity among many Zambians on COVID-19 preventive measures will kill many citizens as a lot of them have relaxed on adherence to guidelines put in place to stop the further spread of the pandemic.
JCTR Executive Director Father Alex Muyebe stated today that compliance to the stipulated preventive measures among Zambians is not the same as it was around April, a month after the first COVID-19 cases were recorded.
“It is worrying that laxity on COVID-19 preventive measures in Zambia has come at a time when community transmission of COVID-19 is steadily increasing. It is evident that people in the communities have prematurely dropped the guard. For instance, it is common these days to see large crowds of people in the communities moving up and about without wearing face masks. Of great concern is the laxity on COVID-19 preventive measures in markets, bus stations, and in public service vehicles. This is a recipe for disaster. We risk being overrun by the pandemic which is silently infiltrating our communities. Another great concern is that of late we have seen non-compliance to COVID-19 preventive measures by party cadres such as those that recently stormed the Magistrate’s Court in Lusaka in support of the Minister of Health Dr Chitalu Chilufya when he first appeared before the court to take plea. We have also witnessed some large crowds ignoring COVID-19 preventive measures at some recent events by the Head of State in Mazabuka and in the Western Province,” Fr. Muyebe stated.
“As cases of COVID-19 in Zambia escalate, some institutions have had some offices closed down temporarily due to one or more of their staff having tested positive for COVID-19 in the offices in question. This is a good practice in the interest of public health. However, it is shocking that the National Assembly, the epitome of not only policy-making, but also law-making in this country, continues to operate despite some of its staff and some the Members of Parliament having tested positive for COVID-19.”
He urged the Government and other stakeholders to aggressively step up community education on COVID-19, scale up screening and testing, resume daily detailed updates on COVID-19, put in place measures to enforce compliance to COVID-19 preventive measures especially in communities, in markets, bus stations and in public service vehicles and prioritise public health interest over and above political interest.
“Together we can defeat COVID-19,” Fr Muyebe stated.