Letter to the Editor

Lockdown does not mean total stop of all activities

Dear editor,
PLEASE understand that a lockdown does not mean total stop of all activities.
That is just not practical nor feasible in any country.
Even in China they allowed community leaders to open supermarkets for a certain period for people to get their supplies.
For example when we had the Ebola emergency crisis in West Africa we had a lockdown that required specific opening hours for shops, pharmacies and businesses.
Then from 6pm all shops, bars, restaurants etc must he closed and no movement allowed after 6pm.
Taxis could not carry more than three people two in the back and one in front.
No handshakes or touching. Every commercial place would have hand wash basins and hand sanitizers.
Travel was only allowed for essential workers, diplomats and non-citizens returning to their home country.
Goods continued to move across borders. This obsession with lockdowns is highly misplaced. What we need to do is beef up testing of all suspected cases and ensure proper tracking of patients.
We also need to ensure our medical personnel have the protective gear and the necessary equipment and drugs to treat coronavirus patients. We should also effect mandatory 14 days quarantine of all travellers coming from high risk countries in Europe, USA and SA. Those coming from low risk should self-quarantine.
We need to all remember that Zambia’s economy is already on its knees even before Corona so there is no need to further damage our limping economy by taking drastic action without proper analysis of the social and economic impact of these actions.
Government should immediately appoint a Taskforce and ensure that the private sector are represented including academics from health sector, engineering, sciences and economics. We must start planning for both potential surge and also post surge recovery plan and fully cost these scenarios and mobilise resources.

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