SENIOR Chief Kaputa of Kaputa District in Northern Province says most people in rural areas think COVD-19 is a hoax and are skeptical about getting vaccinated because they haven’t seen its effects on the ground.

In an interview, Chief Kaputa, who has been vaccinated himself, noted that although most people in rural areas were skeptical about getting vaccinated, they can’t be forced.

“It looks like people are not very convinced that we have Covid, you know, especially, during that time when it was high in places like Lusaka and other places, we hardly saw the effect of Covid in rural areas. Maybe the statistics were not well captured. So people are skeptical, yes, so the response is slow but again you see you can’t force them. It’s like [when] you are taking a horse to [drink] water and if it can’t drink, you have had it. They haven’t seen the effects of it on the ground, when people were talking about people dying in numbers here in the Copperbelt, Lusaka, we didn’t see that in rural areas and I think that would be a major reason they think it’s a hoax and yes, Dorothy I am vaccinated,” said Chief Kaputa.

“You know, we are not very sure of whether we have it or we don’t have it and I think it’s good for us to still be on the safe side. I will support the relaunch [of the vaccination campaign]. We are not sure whether we are done with Covid or not and also with the shortage of drugs in our clinics and our hospitals, especially in the rural areas, I think let people be engaged to go for it. In places where we have community radio stations, you know, it’s being announced continuously. And in places where we don’t have, the village head persons are being encouraged to ensure that, that message goes round to everyone.”