PRESIDENT Edgar Lungu has warned that is citizens stop adhering to the Covid-19 public health guidelines, the predicted second wave of the pandemic will be devastating.

Quoting President Lungu in a statement, Special Assistant to the President for Press and Public Relations Isaac Chipampe said the Head of State was concerned that while the second wave of Covid-19 was on the horizon, people had relaxed the adherence to health guidelines.

“The President Zambia has cautioned that a new wave of coved-19 seems to be on the horizon and all citizens must abide by the health guidelines put in place by experts. The President has observed with dismay poor adherence to prescribed public health measures that has contributed to the sudden Increase and geographical spread in the country in the last two weeks. The President says it is MN mandatory that all citizens must wear masks, maintain social distancing, avoid shaking hands, and wash hands frequently with soap. The President has noted with concern a generalised spread of COVID-I9 with North-Western; Muchinga, Copperbelt Central: Lusaka and Southern Provinces most affected,” Chipampe stated.

“President Lungu has also observed with concern the laxity towards coved-19 guidelines by people patronising hors, musical concerts and other social gatherings. The President has since made a clarion call aligned to the Pubic Health Act CAP. 295 of the Laws of Zambia and COVID-I9 associated Statutory Instruments Nos. 21, 22 and 62 of 2020 that:
(1). All citizens must wear masks and practice good hand hygiene when in public places and gatherings. Masks must be won correctly if they are to provide the intended protection.
(2). Ail public toadies 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.
(3). The local authorities wkl 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 thee licences revoked.”

he called on other leaders of organisations, churches and civil society to call for safety measures among their members.

“(4). 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. (5) There will soon be re-introduced restrictions on numbers Of persons gathering at events including, weddings, funerals, traditional ceremonies, music concerts and holiday festivities. 6. All leaders, be it Traditional, religious, political, or civil are called upon to lead their followers in adherence to public health measures. The President says the threat of a second wave in Zambia is becoming a concern Considering what is going on globally and regionally. “The responsibility remains with us to quickly curtail this outbreak and prevent a ‘second wave,” he stated.

President Lungu warned that if people do not adhere to public health guidelines, stringent measures would be put in place.

“The number of requests for public gatherings are concerning as we note increased ‘may to observance of public health measures such as wearing masks and hand hygiene. We have further guided for increased enforcement of public health measures in all public places,” the President said. On the state of the pandemic globally and nationally, the cumulative number of COV1D-19 cases reported globally h now 73,2 /3249 including 1,628,480 deaths and 51,356,570 recoveries as of 0830AM 15A December 2020. Cumulative cases in Africa were 2404,414 including 56.740 deaths and 2033,838 recoveries. In Zambia, 106 new cases of COVID-19 out of 3,759 tests conducted in our laboratories during the last 24 hours were detected. The cumulative number of cases in the country is now therefore 13,428. The 106 cases have been recorded among 12 districts including Kabwe, Lusaka, Chibombo, Kalumblla. Serenje, Itezhi tezhi, Liteta, Kosarno, Nchelenge, Chinsali, Kaoma, and Sesheke identified through routine screening, healthcare facility screening, pre-hovel screening and a contact to a known case in Solwezi,” the President announced.”

“The number of hospitalisations are on the increase. Six new cases were hospitalised bringing the total admissions countrywide to 16 with six on oxygen support. “Following the discharge of 78 patients, number of recoveries from COVID-19 nationally is 17,475. We, unfortunately, lost a patient to COVID-I9 in Levy Mwanowasa Isolation Center bringing the death toll to 363 with 123 due to COVID- l 9, and 245 associated CO VID-19 deaths,” the President said. He added, my Government is watching carefully the situation and evolution of COV/D-79 as well as adherence to the public health measures by the public. A worsening situation will leave us with no choice but to institute stricter public health interventions.”