MEDICAL for Quality Healthcare in Zambia executive director Dr Quince Mwabu has called for the re-introduction of strict COVID-19 guidelines rather than waiting for the 5th wave.

In an interview, Dr Mwabu observed that there was increased laxity among members of the public with regards to observing prevention measures.

“We have seen the spike of COVID-19 in other countries and Zambia is not exceptional. So this is the right time we need to revise the COVID-19 guidelines as quickly as possible because if you remember by the time the minister revised the COVID-19 guidelines it is normal life as usual. People no longer follow COVID-19 guidelines and we have seen that a lot of people are disregarding COVID-19 guidelines and it is worrying. So we need to make sure that we impose the COVID-19 guidelines. We should not wait until we have a surge of COVID-19 in our country,” Dr Mwabu said.

“This is the right time because as you have observed very few people have been vaccinated. So we are at risk of having severe COVID-19 in our country because a lot of people have been skeptical to get the vaccine. So there is a lot of things that we need to sort out other than to wait until we are hit by the 5th wave of COVID-19.”

And Dr Mwabu said the Ministry of Health should contemplate enhanced media appearances of health experts to provide information to the public on the benefits of the vaccines.

“The Minister of Health should come up with a platform in all the radio stations where they should send the expert and people should start asking the questions about the vaccine because they have got a lot of doubtful questions about vaccines. And that is the reason why a lot of people have been skeptical. So we need to clear the minds of the people when it comes to the vaccines. So we need to find experts so that they can be giving scientific answers about the benefits of the vaccines,” he said.

Dr Mwabu called for collaborative efforts in the fight against the pandemic.

“This is the right time we need to start engaging the community. Where we have reached now have got a prevention to curb down COVID-19, we have got the vaccines and also the COVID-19 guidelines that we can use to prevent the spread of COVId-19 in our country. So this is the right time, with the collective effort, especially from the general [public]. There is a problem, government cannot do it alone so we need a collective effort both from the general public and from the government and see how they can suppress and curb down the COVID-19 in our country,” said Dr Mwabu.