VIOLET MENGO, Lusaka
AS THE number of COVID-19-related community deaths take an upswing in Zambia, this has created worry about the disease being widespread in high density areas. Health experts also believe this could signify that the disease is possibly killing its victims fast, hence most of them being classified as brought-in-dead (BID) on arrival at health facilities.
In an exclusive interview, Zambia National Public Health Institute director Victor Mukonka says he fears for the worst for the country should health authorities fail to contain the spread of the coronavirus.
Professor Mukonka also observes that Zambians have generally dropped their guard against the deadly disease and urges them to choose the path of life by observing prescribed health guidelines.
Here is a verbatim of the interview with the professor:
Q: What lessons have you drawn from the sharp rise of COVID-19 cases in the recent past?
R: Zambia has seen an increase in the number of new positive coronavirus cases across the country, particularly in Lusaka and the Copperbelt. Secondly, we have seen that we are getting into a generalised outbreak, which initially was just affecting the low density areas, but now has penetrated into the high density townships, a development extremely worrying.
Apart from that, we have seen an increased number of people dying in the community and brought-in-dead to the health facilities. When we test them, a good number of them have tested positive for the coronavirus.
We have also seen an increase in flu illnesses (respiratory tract infections) in our hospitals and health facilities, compounded by the change in the temperature, this being the cold season. Normally it is a period we see a peak in flu-like illnesses.
It is extremely worrying that people are not adhering to social distancing, wearing of face masks, and there are some levels of crowding in some places. Despite the closure of bars, we are seeing people drinking and some bars still operating. CLICK TO READ MORE
VIOLET MENGO, Lusaka