Enforce Covid-19 compliance

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IT should be warning enough that the nation is recording more cases of brought in dead (BID) cases that Covid-19 is deadly, despite the warnings from the Head of State and the Ministry of Health.

The attitude of members of the public towards coronavirus remains to be disappointing, as the observance of social distance, hand washing and the correct and consistent use of face masks have been thrown to the wind.

It is a bitter sweet pill that the Lusaka City Council (LCC) has intensified Covid-19 compliance monitoring of public places in the city.

LCC public relations manager George Sichimba disclosed that the intensification of compliance monitoring is premised on the observation that many people and public places have stopped following public health guidelines on the prevention of the spread of Coronavirus.

George Sichimba

He stated that the Council under the Department of Public Health inspected 498 public places in all the seven constituencies from 13th to 19th July, 2020.

Mr Sichimba disclosed that 225 places were cited for contravening public health guidelines resulting in 16 being closed and 209 being warned.

This is for Lusaka alone and one shudders to imagine what the situation is like in other towns.

It is disturbing to note that many of the new positive Covid-19 cases are from domestic transmission as opposed to the scenario at the beginning of the local outbreak.

The key message behind Covid-19 prevention has been to stay at home, but it is becoming apparent that this is falling on deaf ears.

The council spokesperson has further revealed that in the council’s efforts to improve compliance 43 international trucks and 8 public places were disinfected.

“Night operations were also conducted in conjunction with Zambia Police in which Six (6) premises (Restaurants and Liquor Stores) were found violating public health guidelines by not observing physical distancing and operating as bars contrary to the Presidential directives.

“And during the weekend of 18th and 19th July, 2020, public health inspectors conducted church compliance monitoring with 32 churches being monitored.

“Out of 32 churches monitored, 13 were satisfactory, 18 were not satisfactory and were warned while one church service was suspended,” he said.

The fact that churches now join the list of public facilities defying public health guidelines is disappointing.

The Christian church propounds that the wages of sin are death and with Covid-19 this is a fact. We cannot afford to allow laxity in enforcing the law.

As a nation we must also deeply reflect over our moral standing; where bars and churches can be found wanting and worse still be mentioned in the same breath of a local authority when it comes to meting out punishment.

Members of the public should desist from gathering in numbers, regardless of the situation, in this time it is safer to stay away from family, church or funeral gatherings.

The safest way to prevent the spread of Covid-19 is to stop moving.

Remember Covid-19 does not travel, it is humans that do.

We can stop Covid-19 in its tracks by staying at home.

The Lusaka City Council and indeed all municipal departments should continue to take action against those abrogating public health guidelines to ensure that the message to stay at home is sent home.

While we also appreciate the fact that life must carry on, citizens must be aware that life can end, and swiftly, if we continue to take a casual approach to preventing the spread of Covid-19.

The expectation now is that any public place that chooses to conduct itself away from the clear guidelines will be shut down.

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