FOLLOWING the recent reductions in COVID-19 infections during the fourth wave of the disease, many people have regrettably dropped their guard against the deadly pandemic.
Many have gone back to the old normal of not adhering to social distancing, washing of hands frequently and wearing of facemasks, among others, during funerals and other public gatherings.
One doesn’t need to be a rocket scientist to ascertain the fact that most people are not complying with preventive guidelines.
This problem has been worsened by several myths including claims that COVID does not exist.
Only selected public places have continued compelling their customers to wear facemasks before entering their premises.
We are therefore not surprised to hear that Zambia’s COVID-19 positivity rate has increased slightly from single to double digit for two days in a roll.
According to latest statistics by the Zambia National Public Health Institute (ZNPHI), the country recorded one COVID-19 associated death, with the positivity rate rising from 11 per cent on Wednesday to 12 per cent yesterday.
This is against the backdrop of Zambia recording a single digit COVID-19 positivity rate from February 5, 2022 to February 8, 2022.
Sadly, it still is business as usual for most people even when the single digit positivity rate has been lost over the last two days.
This is a wakeup call for Zambians across the country to continue upholding COVID preventive guidelines.
The fact that COVID infections recently slowed down does not imply that citizens should drop their guard against the pandemic.
Even the last kicks of a dying horse are dangerous as a dying animal usually sends strong kicks on people.
From biblical point of view, 1 Thessalonians 5:3 states that sudden destruction usually comes upon people when they relax in peace and safety.
Quoting the Ministry of Information and Media’s article published in yesterday’s Times of Zambia newspaper, COVID-19 has remained a serious health challenge affecting countries world-over, Zambia included.
In this regard, the Government has continued to implement various measures to mitigate the spread and impact of COVID-19 on the population.
The measures include the re-launch of the national vaccination campaign by President Hakainde Hichilema on October 6, 2021, to encourage the public to get vaccinated.
While vaccination is not a deterrent against COVID-19, it is an important mitigation factor in preventing the severity, hospitalisation and even death, from COVID-19, hence the need for everyone to take vaccination against the pandemic seriously.
Government has also continued to heighten public sensitisation on COVID-19 health guidelines namely wearing a mask correctly and consistently in public places, washing hands frequently with soap and water or alcohol-based hand sanitiser, maintaining physical distance of one metre or more, and seeking medical attention early, if unwell.
It is also important for the media to educate the public on the importance of getting vaccinated against COVID-19.
Like Information and Media Permanent Secretary Kennedy Kalunga put it, the media must prioritise public sensitisation on the five golden rules in preventing the spread of the pandemic.