KAPOCHE PF member of parliament Dr Charles Banda has told his constituents to desist from engaging in their usual traditional greetings, which involve physical human contact, to prevent spreading the deadly Coronavirus.

Speaking to his electorate, Sunday, in various areas within Sinda District, Dr Banda took time to sensitise local residents about the COVID-19, and how dangerous it was if people ignored the official World Health Organization (WHO) guidelines.

He urged residents to desist from handshakes as per traditional routine, but to greet each other using alternative respectful means.

“I would have loved that we take long time discussing and crying to each other on such meetings but the period we are in is very dangerous with the disease that has come called Coronavirus, which has claimed a lot of lives worldwide. Unfortunately, because of our travelling, we have brought it in Africa, and our friends in South Africa about 267 people have been found with the virus, while here in Zambia as of today (Sunday), three have been found positive,” Dr Banda said.

“This disease does not play as it attacks the throat, the ribs and worse when it reaches the stomach then it’s game over! People cough, sneeze and fever are some of the signs of it. Currently, people found with it worldwide are about 300,000 and 11,000 have already died of it. We beg you that, let’s respect ourselves by not meeting in groups or greet each other. Let’s avoid churches because in Italy, it started from the Church and a lot of people have died. We are planning to ban even bars, (close) borders to ensure the virus does not spread fast in our nation. But at the moment, we have not passed a law to close churches, bars and other social activities.”

And Dr Banda, who is also Local Government Minister, took time to distribute 12.5Kg mealie meal bags to the vulnerable, advising against selling maize at an early stage.

He was informed that some people had sold their maize fields before harvesting, while others had already started selling their fresh maize produce to briefcase buyers.

“Let’s avoid selling our fields before harvest that promotes hunger, and to be frank, hunger on a family doesn’t give respect, where hunger prevails, even marriages are difficult to maintain.…,” he cautioned.

He also advised local residents that the Chimphundu road will be worked on following the disbursement of K300,000 to which K150,000 had been allocated for the same road.

Meanwhile, Council Chairperson Michael Phiri emphasised on cooperation and hard work if development was to be delivered to various communities.

Dr Banda, who was accompanied by PF district secretary Best Mwanza and district youth chairperson Pingilani Banda, visited Nyanje Primary School where about 300 people received mealie meal.