The Zambia Police Service, through its spokesperson Mrs Esther Mwaata Katongo, yesterday sounded a warning to all Zambians to ensure they mask up when in public or risk being fined K750, prosecuted in court or being thrown in prison for 6 months, or at worst at Edwin Imboela Stadium once other holding facilities for offenders are full to capacity.
We all are aware of the rising cases of COVID-19 that are mostly coming from communities. Almost every day, there are huge numbers of confirmed COVID-19 cases coming from routine screening and, additionally, shocking statistics of those who die from home and turn out COVID-19 positive after mortuary screening.
These are very scary revelations that present to us a huge problem that faces the country with regard to compliance to the health regulations put in place by the government. People are adamant when it comes to adhering to the health rules despite a statutory instrument being put in place that mandates everyone to wear a mask while in public, social distancing and sanitising. And this same SI mandates the police to enforce the rules to a point of fining offenders or taking them to court.
We are 100% in agreement with the police when it comes to fining offenders the stipulated K750 once found to have violated the rules, but we are somewhat worried about confinement. We all know that COVID-19 thrives in crowded places, hence throwing them into one place for not wearing a mask will in the end aggravate the situation.
As a media organisation that cares so much for the people, our advice to the police is that they look for other alternatives as a form of punishment than confinement if we are to quickly get COVID-19 out of our country. We totally understand the pressure the government has to contain Coronavirus, and we also understand the pressure the Zambia Police Service has to enforce the guidelines, but we are certain that sticking to a fine will serve as the best form of punishment for now.
Let’s work together to fight COVID-19; please mask up, observe social distancing, sanitise and avoid falling victim to the punishment that comes with not adhering to the rules.
We at Zambia Reports care for you. Join us in preventing and protecting!