Editor's Comment

Urgently curtail travel

TRANSPORT is a key factor in the fight against Covid-19. This is for the simple reason that transportation, in whatever mode facilitates movements of people from one location to another, thereby enhancing the risk of spreading the disease.
Public transportation, whether by plane, automobile, train or water vessel, allows people from different geographical areas to converge and be confined in one place for a period of time depending on the distance being covered and the speed of the mode used.
It is through movements of infected people that the virus is being transported from one place to another.
The disease which broke out in China three months ago has spread to the rest of the world through movements of people.
For instance, in Zambia all the first three cases are as result of international travels.
This is why in worst-hit countries, flights have been banned to prevent further spread of the disease.
At such a critical moment, when the virus is wreaking havoc on countries both rich and poor, it is important to heighten measures to prevent further spread of the disease.
It is therefore commendable that various stakeholders in the country are not sitting idly by, but working round the clock to find new ways of combating this deadly disease.
For instance, intra-country bus transporters have been re-routed to a new station in Lusaka.
This way, it will be much easier to monitor and screen arrivals into the country, considering that the virus is being imported.
It is, however, of utmost importance that there is no laxity screening these arrivals. There are often times when such an exercise could get laborious and even boring, leading to the dropping of the guard.
Those tasked with this responsibility should not be stressed. They should be there the whole day.
Such risks of dropping the guard is already evident at some outlets such us malls. At the start of the day, the young men and women assigned enthusiastically ensure that everyone entering the building sanitises their hands.
Much later in the day, some of them hardly pay attention to who gets in. In fact, at one of the malls by early evening they leave their posts, yet the malls close much later.
There is also a concern that while social distancing has been accepted as one of the key ways of keeping the disease at bay, this measure is hardly implemented on public passenger vehicles.
The buses and taxis are still tightly packed. Surely, this is not the way to fight the virus.
In other countries, measures have been taken to not only sanitise the vehicles and passengers, but to also reduce the number of people getting on board.
Although such measures may seem harsh because of the socio-economic impact they tag along, they are certainly inevitable and long overdue.
The risk that coronavirus poses to the country, is too huge and therefore calls for stringent measures.
Though the country has not reached the full-blown situation of multiple infections and deaths as is the case in some countries, it is important to defend and improve on the current status.
If rich and developed countries like Italy are struggling with the pandemic, Zambia cannot afford to take any chances.
Citizens too must play their part by curbing movements.
In the face of Covid-19, citizens have an obligation to safeguard their lives and those of others by self-quarantining. These are desperate times which call for desperate measures.
Those who can afford to work from home should do so to reduce on the number of people making movements and physically interacting.
Most importantly everyone must be responsible enough to follow the preventive rules provided by experts.
Let’s us remember that life is precious and once lost it cannot be replaced. Responsibility to fight coronavirus starts with every citizen.

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