N/West Covid-19 fight under test


ZAMBIA is slowly edging towards 13,000 confirmed Covid-19 cases and there seems to be no respite insight.
In fact the latest Covid-19 updates have shown a worrying pattern where the virus is slowly making its presence felt across all the provinces.

Unfortunately, every Covid-19 case is not just a number but an actual dent in already limited coffers and a threat to the future of Zambia’s economy.
As the country ponders return to full time activities under the new normal – it is worrying that the cases of Covid-19 infections have begun to spread.
Particularly worrying is the recent announcement that cases of Covid-19 in North-Western province have risen to 435 since the outbreak of the pandemic.
Just as we have started to see new towns emerge and begin to support local business enterprise now looms the threat of the deadly pandemic that has been known to shut down entire cities.
North-western province Minister, Nathaniel Mubukwanu expressed concern at Solwezi, the provincial capital, having recorded highest number of confirmed cases for the day at 265.
In May 2020, First Quantum Minerals’ (FQM) Kansanshi Mining Plc handed over part of the Solwezi School of Nursing for use as a COVID-19 isolation facility.
The mining company, represented by Kansanshi Mining assistant general manager John Gladston, also handed over US$120,000 worth of an assortment of personal protective equipment (PPE), medical equipment, surgical masks and gloves, refrigerators, beds, blankets and linen.
In receiving the donation of the COVID-19 Isolation Facility and accompanying medical equipment and Personal Protective Equipment on behalf of the Government of the Republic of Zambia, the North Western Province Minister paid glowing tribute to First Quantum Minerals and Kansanshi Mining Plc in particular, for being a reliable all-weather friend of Zambia that has consistently taken care of the communities surrounding the mine through its corporate social responsibility programme.
He urged other corporate bodies to emulate the good work being undertaken by Kansanshi and hailed the importation a GeneXpert COVID-19 testing machine and 10,000 test kits which would be housed by Solwezi General Hospital.
Mr Mubukwanu was delighted at the time that samples collected from suspected cases of COVID-19 in the North-Western Province could be tested from Solwezi, thereby speeding up the process.
However, he said the rising numbers were alarming and that it was entirely upon every individual to adhere to the health guidelines.
‘’It is therefore my appeal to all the people of North-Western province to ensure that they protect themselves from the pandemic by following the health guidelines put in place by the Ministry of Health,’’ he said.
Mr Mubukwanu said it was not a guarantee that one could survive simply because their relative or neighbour recovered from the pandemic.
“The luck of your friend may not manifest into your luck as well. So I want to once again appeal to the people that in whatever they do, they observe those health guidelines,’’ he emphasized.
The Minister, however, applauded various stakeholders for helping Government fight the spread of the pandemic.
And now the waiting game begins, to see if the public will adhere to health guidelines and stave off the deadly virus or if indeed it will be business as usual where the town will be crippled due to mounting numbers of cases.
Indeed, we must never take it for granted that the fight against Covid-19 is only for government and corporate partners everyone must play their role.


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