Editor's Comment

No one must be left unmasked

IT IS for a good reason that Government has made the wearing of masks mandatory.
The bottom line is that this is part of the measures to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19).
Despite this, many people in the streets in most towns in Zambia are not wearing masks, some out of sheer arrogance, others out of ignorance and others because they can’t afford them.
While various concerned stakeholders continue to tackle the aspects of arrogance and ignorance, it is just as important that support is given to those that appreciate the need to wear the masks, but can’t genuinely afford them.
This is why Government has embarked on a massive distribution of masks to protect citizens from contracting COVID-19. There shouldn’t be anyone left behind.
It ought to be underscored that the recommendation to wear masks is not a making of the Government. It has been recommended by leading health experts as a way to help prevent COVID-19, which the World Health Organisation (WHO) has declared as a global pandemic.
In fact, WHO has endorsed the wearing of masks.
Wearing masks should become the norm everywhere in Zambia.
There is therefore need to mobilise citizens to embrace masks as a national effort to protect them against COVID-19 infection.
All well-meaning citizens should join forces with the Government in mass sensitisation about the benefits of mask-wearing as a vital tool in mitigating the spread of the virus.
The mask builds a barrier from respiratory droplets, through which COVID-19 is spread. Since March 18 when the first two cases of the virus were reported, Zambia has witnessed a surge of the pandemic.
The disease is spreading, with 1,057 cumulative cases so far, with seven deaths and 779 recoveries.
The disease is spreading at a fast rate, especially that the primary method is a mixture of importation by truck drivers, as well as humanto-human in communities.
This is a very dangerous phase which could see a rapid exponential rise, more so that the manifestation is in epicentres such as Lusaka, Chirundu and Nakonde.
Fortunately, the Ministry of Health has scaled up testing and enhanced contact tracing, as well as enforcing all measures, including limiting access to areas prone to infections.
However, this is not enough.
That is why Government has embarked on a massive distribution of masks to protect citizens from contracting COVID-19.
The mass distribution could not have come at a better time than now when schools are scheduled to reopen on Monday for examination classes.
Most parents and guardians have been worrying about the safety of their children and dependants because schools are opening at a time when COVID-19 is spiralling.
The masks being distributed by Government will go a long way in helping schools fight COVID-19,as most of them will be given to teachers and pupils.
The masks will complement the K2.4 billion that Government has released to all schools in the country to procure disinfectants and sanitisers.
With the high number of schools in the country, the K2.4 billion is a drop in the ocean as it translates into few thousands of Kwacha per school.
This therefore calls for parents and guardians to play their role by ensuring that their children and dependants are equipped with masks, soaps and sanitisers.
Well-wishers should also continue to help out schools by providing buckets, masks and sanitisers.
COVID-19 has brought more demands on communities, at household and corporate levels, including churches, than the country
imagined when the pandemic broke out in Wuhan, China, last December.
It has destablised lifestyles because business is no longer as usual while budgets have been disturbed as people, institutions and corporates
cope with the pandemic.
Parents and guardians now have to double budgets for COVID-19 to protect their homes and also ensure that their children and dependants
are safe while at school.
Schools, too, have COVID-19 on their schedules as they seek to protect their staff and pupils.
Mask up.

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