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Covid-19

Please don’t whip people, found flouting the COVID-19 rules, President Lungu counsels

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PRESIDENT Edgar Lungu says agencies entrusted to enforce the COVID-19 guidelines should refrain from abusing and harassing citizens found flouting the rules.
And  the President says measures he announced last year to stem the spread of COVID-19 are still in force and all citizens must comply, stating that if they do not, he will announce stringent measures to protect populations from the pandemic.
President Lungu said it is regrettable that enforcement officers have lately abused or humiliated citizens found flouting COVID- 19 guidelines.
He said enforcement officers can make citizens abide by the COVID-19 guidelines without necessarily harassing them.
President Lungu has, however, said the number of people that have contracted COVID-19 since the turn of the year and those who have died is of great concern.
He said there is correlation between the high numbers of cases and the relaxed observance of COVID-19 guidelines in the current spike.
“Arguably we dropped the guard. The COVID-19 guidelines I had announced last year as recommended by health experts were largely ignored and we forgot about the ‘New normal’ towards the end of 2020,” the President said.
President Lungu added that the festive season came with partying and overcrowding with little observance of the COVID-19 health guidelines.
“In September during my Address to Parliament, I partially reopened bars, taverns and nightclubs with serious caution that all covid-19 health guidelines are strictly adhered to. These outlets were to operate from 18:00 hours to 23:00 from Friday to Sunday.
“This was on a pilot basis and I said should there be any flouting of these public health guidelines, I will be left with no option but to close them again,” he said.
President Lungu said at no time did he allow the outlets to open daily but this is what is obtaining at the moment leading to the situation citizens are in.
The Head of State has since made a clarion call aligned to the Public Health Act CAP. 295 of the Laws of Zambia and COVID- 19 associated Statutory Instruments number 21, 22 and 62 of 2020.
He said the law demands that all citizens must wear masks and practice good hand hygiene when in public places and gatherings. Masks must be worn correctly if they are to provide the intended protection.
President said the statutory further requires that all public facilities and hosts of public gatherings must ensure provision of hand washing facilities or alcohol-based hand sanitisers and enforce the use of masks in these facilities.
He said the local authorities should facilitate disinfection of conveyances and public places including markets, bus stops and stations, shopping malls, places of worship, schools and office places.
“The owners of the public vehicles are directed to ensure passengers wear masks and are provided with hand hygiene facilities before embarking onto the vehicles. Drivers flouting the rules will have their licences revoked,” he said.
He also reiterated that enforcement of public health measures in bars must be in place; the conditions for opening bars must be adhered to. Failure to adhere to these measures may lead to the withdrawal of trading and liquor licences.
The President also said all leaders, be it traditional, religious, political, or civil are called upon to lead their followers in adherence to public health measures.
The President said failure to follow these guidelines will invite stringent measures to curb the rise in the number of COVID-19 cases.
He further directed the Ministry of Local Government, the Ministry of Home Affairs, and the Ministry of Health to ensure bar, tavern and nightclub owners and patrons strictly observe the opening days and hours, and the public health regulations, guidelines and certifications.

Covid-19

MoH stops mass COVID-19 testing as govt. fears it will run out of testing kits due to local and global demand

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GOVERNMENT has disclosed that it cannot cope with mass COVID-19 testing due to local and global demand of diagnostic test kits.

Minister of Health Sylvia Masebo says owing to increased community transmissions of the virus, her ministry has since revised testing criteria which  will only prioritise those with symptoms.

Speaking at a media briefing this morning, Ms Masebo said the move is a logical approach adding  that one in every three to four Zambians is infected, as such government cannot cope with mass test screening.

She said government will therefore prioritize testing individuals and grouping with symptoms suggestive of COVID-19 such as individuals who are at risk of developing severe disease.

Ms Masebo said among those who will be prioritised are health care workers, those admitted in healthcare facilities with various ailments and symptomatic individuals in an institutionalised setting such  as prisons, boarding schools and training camps.

“We advise that if you are a contact to a known case or at risk of acquiring the disease but have no symptoms, you do not need to be tested but must observe enhanced prevention measures. If you develop symptoms at any point, please get to the health facility for examination and possible testing,” she said.

And the Minister has disclosed that in the last 24 hours the country has recorded 1,485 new COVID-19 cases out of 5,389 tests conducted countrywide, giving a national positivity of 28%.

She said five deaths have been recorded in the last 24 hours, with two classified as COVID-19 deaths and three as COVID-19 associated deaths.

The Minister further said in the last 24 hours,a total 20,526 vaccine dose records which brings the total number of doses that have been administered to date to 1,941,928.

(Mwebantu, Monday, January 10th, 2022)

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Some priests on the Copperbelt province test positive to COVID-19 amid Christmas celebrations

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CATHOLIC Diocese of Ndola Bishop Benjamin Phiri has disclosed that some priests have tested positive to COVID-19.

Dr Phiri has since provided new guidelines ahead of Christmas celebrations amid the increase in COVID-19 cases in the country.

In his latest communication to perishes on the Copperbelt province, Bishop Phiri said Christmas vigil and Christmas day masses will go ahead with strict health measures in a well spaced environment.

He has urged priests to increase the number of masses to avoid overcrowding.

“At Parishes where Priests have been diagnosed with Covid-19, the church building must be fumigated immediately and repeatedly after each Mass celebration and a stand in Priest will be sent to help the sick one,” he said.

And the Bishop has cancelled all his visitation to parishes lined up during the Christmas period.

He said new arrangements will be made when the COVID-19 situation normalizes.

Bishop Phiri has further urged christians in the diocese to religiously follow guidelines on COVID-19 provided by the Ministry of Health.

Meanwhile, the Cathedral of the Child Jesus has cancelled the celebration of mass for two weeks after a number of parishioners tested positive to Covid-19.

Cathedral administrator Father Timothy Lubunda has told Mwebantu that all the offices will be closed has well as gatherings will not be allowed to take place.

“This has been a hard decision to make but our people’s health comes first as we serve our God,” he said.

(Mwebantu, Friday, 24th December, 2021)

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Covid-19

FAZ calls off Red Arrows Vs Indeni due to incidences of Covd-19 in the airmen’s camp

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THE Football Association of Zambia (FAZ)  has postponed the Week 17 MTN Super League match between Red Arrows and Indeni due to incidences of COVID-19 in the airmen’s camp.

FAZ general secretary Adrian Kashala said the association has since notified all the parties involved.

“We have postponed the between Red Arrows and Indeni originally scheduled for Sunday, 19th December 2021 to a later date due to an outbreak of COVID-19 amongst the players and staff of Red Arrows,” Kashala said.

He said the move is regrettable especially that it came in the aftermath of the cancellation of another Week 17 match involving Kafue Celtic and Prison Leopards due to COVID-19 cases.

Kashala said clubs should step up COVID-19  preventive measures in view of the fourth wave.

“We wish to advise all our partners especially clubs that the fourth wave of the Covid-19 is upon us, and everyone should take care of themselves. We encourage our members to embrace the vaccination campaign as part of the ministry of health control measures,” Kashala said.

“While we are mindful that the exercise is voluntary, we encourage everyone to consider taking the jab as one of the measures touted as a COVID-19 prevention tool.Football stadia has been identified as one of the media for providing a platform for public vaccination exercises should take the lead,” Kashala said.

Red Arrows was due to host Indeni Football Club in a Week 17 fixture at Nkoloma Stadium.

This is a according to a statement issued by FAZ communications manager Sydney Mungala.

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Foxdale Forest – Phase 2 Selling

ZAMBIA: COVID-19 STATS

27 Jan 2022, 12:08 PM (GMT)

Zambia Stats

303,266 Total Cases
3,906 Deaths
293,694 Recovered

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