PHARMACIST Jerome Kanyika says the fight against the Covid-19 has faced a new challenge as people think the [andemic is over and are reluctant to get vaccinated.

And Kanyika says the new dawn administration’s free education policy has caused over crowding in schools, which has in turn has increased the number of COVID-19 infections among school going children.

In an interview, Kanyika observed observed that there was laxity among people as they have mostly stopped observing the five golden rules of avoiding COVID-19 infection.

“One thing that we need to look into is that there are very few children whom we have vaccinated as a country so we need to push up the process of vaccination so that at least most of our children get vaccinated. Right now, we are staying and living as if there is no covid which we need to relook. There is no physical distancing, people have stopped wearing masks and all that. The number of people who are getting vaccinated every day, instead of going up, is a little bit reduced because people feel like covid has come to an end while that is not true. When we check, yes the number of cases for covid has reduced, but you should know very well like I explained, adults have developed the immune system to fight this pandemic and you will discover that once an adult is exposed to covid, the body itself is able to fight the virus quickly and is able to respond accordingly without even knowing that this person has covid or not,” he said.

“People are now not taking serious the issue of being vaccinated and people still think that covid has come to an end. This is a big problem we are having and this can also be seen by the number of people adhering to covid precautions and other things that have been put in place by the Ministry of Health. We were this time anticipating the number of people that are getting vaccinated should be a lot and more in terms of queues but you will discover that once you go to these vaccination centres, you will find that there is no one in the queue and some hospitals now are having days in terms of vaccinating. These people are knocking off by 15:00 hours so that is a challenge that is there and already, the government has spent a lot of millions of kwacha or dollars to buy these vaccines for the members of the public to get vaccinated,” said Kanyika.

Kanyika observed that it had become difficult to enforce social distancing in schools.

“I think one thing you need to know and understand very well is when you compare the children and adults population and in terms of immunity, you will discover that the adults are better and well protected to Covid-19 as compared to the children. Why? Because in the first wave, the children were skipped, in the second wave, the children were skipped in the third wave and all that. But the adults in the first, second, third until the fourth wave were all affected. Now the fourth wave is the one affecting the children, while the children do not have much immunity concerning the Covid-19. And this is now is the one that is resulting in the number of cases for children to increase and when you check very well, since the government opened schools last month, we have seen the increase in the number of people attending the class because of the issue of free education so if a class had about 30 people, right now if you go to schools, it is having about 60 or 70 pupils and we have seen photos circulating where pupils are even sitting on the floor without even having physical distancing and these are pupils that are coming from different homes where there is covid and they are spreading the same covid to their follow children so this is a challenge that we are currently have,” Kanyika said.