Cabinet has approved a Contingency plan, including its budget, in order to fight the coronavirus pandemic.
Chief Government Spokesperson Dora Siliya has said that President Edgar Lungu has also directed that the Council of Ministers to sit and propose other measures that will help protect the lives of the Zambian people against the coronavirus.
Ms Siliya said that the contingency plan is an urgent instrument for action by all stakeholders if the country is to contain the spread of this deadly Covid-19, adding that Cabinet is seriously concerned with the matter and feels it is necessary for Zambia to have the capacity to combat the spread of the virus.
Ms Siliya said that by instituting a multisectoral, coordinated and responsive action by government, cooperating partners, the private sector and society at large in order to protect the lives of Zambians in all the cities, towns and the rural areas.
Ms Siliya, who is also Information and Broadcasting services Minister, said the decisions were made today when President Edgar Lungu called for the Sixth Cabinet Meeting to discuss policy matters aimed at improving the socio-economic environment of the counry.
She said while government is implementing the Contingency Plan, Cabinet has appealed to all the citizens to maintain maximum hygiene and avoid gatherings in public places such as markets, bus stations, churches and bars, as a way of supporting Government inerventions.
Ms Siliya has also called on Zambians to avoid panic as experts are working day and night while monitoring the situation.
She said Government will continue to provide the updates as the situation unfolds, so that everyone is aware of what is happening on the ground with regard to the COVID-19 pandemic.
According to the World Health Organisation -WHO- records, there are already over 275,000 confirmed cases of coronavirus worldwide, affecting more than 168 countries with 11,399 deaths recorded since the outbreak, with recoveries among the infected, so far s
anding at about 88,256 worldwide.
In Southern Africa, the closest countries to Zambia affected by COVID-19 include South Africa, Congo DR, Tanzania, Rwanda and Namibia.
Zambia has so far recorded the first three confirmed cases of the COVID-19.
Meanwhile, Ms. Siliya said Cabinet has also approved in principle, the introduction of a Bill in Parliament to provide for a legal framework to strengthen transparency and accountability in the management of mineral resources in Zambia.
She said among other things, the Bill will provide for the mandatory disclosure of taxes and other payments including mining costs which extractive companies pay to the Government and what the Government receives as revenue from extractive companies.
And Ms. Siliya said the cabinet has also approved the National Transport Master Plan 2020 –2038 and the National Technical Education Vocational and Entrepreneurship Training -TEVET- Policy.
During the meeting, Cabinet also approved the appointment of Non-Executive Board Members of the Veterinary Council of Zambia in order to effectively regulate the veterinary and veterinary paraprofessionals in the country.