FORMER health deputy minister Dr Christopher Kalila has called on leaders in various walks of life to be in the forefront of stopping the spread of the anticipated second wave of the deadly COVID-19.

In an interview, Dr Kalila, who is now Lukulu East UPND member of parliament and party chairman for health, urged leaders in society to lead by example in ensuring that COVID-19 regulations were implemented to prevent further acceleration of the virus’ second wave.

“People should take COVID seriously. The fact that we are in the second wave, we have to break transmissions, to avoid accelerations and also just to ensure that we save our economy. In saving our lives, we also need to save our economy. Those of us who are fortunate to be in positions of leadership in any sector, should lead by example. Those of us, who are privileged at the moment to lead in any capacity, at any level, whether at the church-level, at community-level, at political-level, should be in the forefront to exercise social distancing, which means avoiding groups,” Dr Kalila said.

“People must once again remember that we are actually going back to where we were before. We all know about this disease now. So, the fact that it is coming in an aggressive way means that we must all, again, sit back, brace ourselves by social distancing to avoid further escalations and further deaths to save our lives and our economy. Leaders should be the ones in the forefront to lead by example. Remember, we are role models, if we don’t, then everybody won’t, then that’s it, we are done, further straining our economy; further straining our livelihood across all the sectors of our lives. We know we are land-locked so we must make sure that we try to manage this thing.”

He said the second wave should not be downplayed as it had the potential to collapse the country’s economy.

“The second wave was anticipated by the (Health) Ministry itself, it had indicated through their projections that it is going to hit us in December. Remember, they were looking at the trends in the past…how it moved and it finally passed here and it is here. You can see in South Africa, you have heard it is there,” said Dr Kalila. “So, it is not to be belittled, everything that is lost, no matter how little it is, the most important thing is that it is real and the only way to break transmission is through observing social distancing, otherwise, people are risking or daring a virus whose effects they have seen. Right now, the disruption in our lives, both on the economic and social front, is because of COVID.”