The World has once again been unexpectedly hit by a mysterious disease called 2019 novel coronavirus(2019-nCOV) or simply coronavirus. The epidemic’s epicenter has been traced to China’s Hubei Province in the City of Wuhan, whose population of 11 million people have been placed under a virtual lockdown.
It is worth noting that Hubei Province is the commercial center of China and therefore a global business destination for most nations that rely on China as a trading partner. In its sitting in Geneva Switzerland on 30th January 2020, the World Health Organisation (WHO) declared the virus outbreak in Wuhan, a public health emergency of International Concern(PHEIC), arising from the strategic and unique standing of Hubei Province, as an international business destination with an inherent potential for exportation of the epidemic to the rest of the World.
In the same sitting, WHO identified 13 top priority countries in Africa which have direct links or a high volume of travel to China, and Zambia, Tanzania, Angola, DRC and South Africa mentioned as some of those nations under that category.
In view of the foregoing, we call upon the Zambian government and all stakeholders to;
1. Immediately carry out a comprehensive public health awareness campaign as a matter of urgency so that prevention message can reach everyone in the country
2. Account for all Zambians currently in China
3. Prepare adequate quarantine facilities and services and strictly monitor all ports of entry.
4. Track everyone who has returned to Zambia from China in the last 7 days.
Since the incubation period for Coronavirus is 14 days, we call upon Zambians who have been to any part of China or who has had close contact with anyone who has been to China to immediately report to any nearest health centre for further investigation whenever they feel unwell.
Prevention starts from each one of us. Please stay safe.