Editor's Comment

Covid-19: Residents near centres no need to leave

REPORTS that residents who are in the vicinity of the Chilanga coronavirus isolation centre want to leave their homes make sad reading.
In coming up with the centre, we are sure there were Government officials who were tasked to carry out some feasibility inspections long before it could be a designated centre to accommodate coronavirus patients.
Given the fact that Covid-19 is a highly infectious disease, Government also put in place measures to ensure that the centre is away from any form of human life.
Some residents of Chilanga who live close to the coronavirus isolation entre are threatening to abandon their homes claiming the centre is close to houses and they fear that they might be exposed to the coronavirus.
But Ministry of Health spokesperson Abel Kabalo assured that there is a safe distance and there was no need for those in the neighbouring areas to panic.
We know we have responsible Government health officials who have made the good health of all Zambians their priority.
Of course we feel for the people who live in the vicinity of the centre and they are bound to have fears about being at risk of contracting the coronavirus.
It is not strange that any person in the situation of these residents can have fears concerning their health, going by the infectious nature of the diseases, which has so far claimed thousands of lives.
However, there is comfort in Dr Kabalo’s assurance because the centre is an isolated place. The centre was once a mini-hospital.
The assurance is coming from a medical practitioner who also says precautions are being taken to ensure no one is at risk.
The coronavirus first emerged in China’s city of Wuhan, in Hubei Province, and spread to the rest of the country claiming about 3,245 lives, and it further spread to other parts of the world, with the highest hit countries being Italy and Spain in Europe.
More than 10,000 people are said to have died globally.
A number of countries where it has spread have put in place stringent measures to prevent the further spread of the ravaging disease, like placing entire towns on lockdowns.
Since the disease broke out, we have come to learn that isolation is one of the effective methods of preventing further spread of the disease and this is why Government came up with a centre where any patients who manifest symptoms of the disease are confined.
It is because of Covid-19’s ravaging nature that Government has also set aside the isolation centre to keep patients away from the general public.
Government, like elsewhere, has taken this measure bearing in mind that placing this isolation centre further from Lusaka, where there is qualified personnel, would unnecessarily increase spending in combating the disease.
It may also stigmatise patients who are admitted to the centre, as Dr Kabalo has pointed out.
Health officials in Zambia have so far come across only two cases of coronavirus and these are the ones admitted at the centre.
Being an isolation centre, any other residents, apart from medical personnel who are assigned there, have no business there. It is a no go area for them.
We will do well to avoid distracting Government workers from doing their work at a time when they need the co-operation of all to combat the spread of coronavirus.

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