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Hakainde Hichilema’s 14 Points on how Zambia has to deal with COVID-19

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HH addressing a news briefing at his residence
HH addressing a news briefing at his residence

Introduction

According to the World Health Organisation’s (WHO), confirmed cases of COVID 19 are spreading rapidly across Africa. Therefore WHO advises African nations to immediately employ proactive mechanisms to stop it.

In our case here, the Ministry of Health has confirmed 03 cases, so COVID 19 is no longer a tale from distant lands, it is in our very own midst.

However, due to limited testing capacity in the country, undetected cases are a high possibility. From experience elsewhere, the acceleration of COVID 19 is steep if preventative interventions are delayed.

Guidance from the WHO is that African countries should prepare for a worst-case scenario. Once we provide for the worst, then we can nip the problem in the bud by assuming an aggressive approach in the process.

COVID 19 Basic Facts

The reproductive number (average number) in which an infected person will infect others is about 2.5. With this calculation, from 1 index case, probable infections after 10 days would be 1600 people.

We are cognizant of measures announced by the Ministry of Health to prevent COVID 19. But they fall short of the scale of the problem at hand because of the following;

Our Healthcare delivery has no capacity to contain full-scale COVID 19 due to:

– Limited diagnostic capabilities ( only at UTH)
– UTH has only 18 ventilators
– Not enough medical staff
– Not enough Personal Protective Equipment
– Limited treatment options

Due to above glaring inadequacies, Western Embassies are evacuating non-essential staff from Zambia. What needs to be done (in addition to measures announced by the Ministry of Health)

  1. Complete lockdown of Zambia for at least 2 weeks to halt the infection rate.
  2. Enhance testing for COVID and extend testing services to all provinces.
  3. Mobilise retired medical staff to be on alert for a possible call to help and also enlist help from Doctors in the private sector.
  4. Procure enough medical equipment and protective clothing for medical personnel on the frontline.
  5. Restrict unnecessary movement from homes.
  6. Encourage all workers (private and public) to work from home.
  7.  Encourage banks to deal in electronic transactions than cash.
  8. Restrict Intercity (domestic) travel unless absolutely necessary.
  9. Limit all gatherings to not more than 5 people.
  10. Restaurants and cafes to operate ‘take away’ (fast foods) only.
  11. Remove all import duty and other taxes on medical equipment and Personal Protective Equipment.
  12. Reconvene Parliament to sit virtually and approve supplemental funding for COVID 19
  13. Withdraw Bill 10 and channel resources to the fight against COVID 19
  14. Parliament must exercise strict oversight on the funds approved for Coronavirus, and no corruption and theft of the resources should be entertained or tolerated.

On a personal level

  • Please wash your hands frequently with soap.
  • No hand shakes or hugs.
  • Cover mouth or nose when coughing or sneezing.
  • Self-quarantine if you have flu symptoms.
  • Do not panic but be extra vigilant.

Prevention of COVID 19 is our collective responsibility. Please take care of yourselves and your loved ones and strictly adhere to hygienic rules provided for by Health authorities, because this disease is very lethal and spares no one. In all this, we should not forget to seek guidance from the All Mighty God. Remember we are our brothers and sisters’, keepers.

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55 COMMENTS

  1. Iwe kainde………

    The agony is, the same suspects who were overseeing the gassing of our people are now incharge of this corona virus thing …..

    This might present a chance for them to finish the job they started with the gassings

    With no information from GRZ about gassings investigations , are Zambians safe ?

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  2. If only the current president could think and act like this.
    The sad truth is that ECL is totally blank and has to rely on his ministers to handle issues for him.
    WHERE IS THE DRIVER?

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  3. Thank you HH for your input. However, you clearly have missed the “keep distance” rule as applicable in Europe, Asia, USA: to keep at least 1.5m (150cm) to other people. So that has to be rule no. 15.
    And related to this: immediately stop all minibus travelling – as with FIVE-FIVE loading by greedy conductors passengers are too close to each other.
    And for passengers: finally speak up and tell those minibus owners to limit passengers to TWO per row!

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    • I don’t think so. Its so important that focus is on the virus and we don’t have money already. worse still all donors are using there reserves for this fight. Here in Australia Budget, Parliament Normal sittings everything suspended till October so to save money and health reasons , But those lunatics running our home will keep wanting to be paid from all sittings.

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  4. This clown also now trying to put up a show he thinks everything is politics…..i cant stand Politicians…why is he even wearing a mask…am in Manhattan in New York city and am not wearing a mask…..did you see Trump wearing a mask…..No because he is for real and not a pretender

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  5. I disagree with the first point. 2week lockdown will be devastating for our already failing economy. People won’t be working meaning for the few companies in manufacturing that’s loss of revenue for them, so how do they pay workers? This goes for supermarkets and hypermarkets kind of businesses too. Point number thirteen is covered in the other seemingly good points just like bill 10 is.

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  6. This is what we should have heard from the Head of State the day we were informed that the virus has entered Zambia. This virus is not a joke kaa…..it is even infecting the VIPs in society

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  7. Hh grow up. You don’t need to wear the mask unless you are infected or in close proximity with some one who is infected. Leave those masks for people that genuinely need them. Do not be greedy and possessed with politics. Why not engage us as government with your points rather than ukuyimonesha via press conference. Very disappointing attitude

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  8. Stop this joke publications. By the looks, it’s the so-called chief editor of LT, who put this out. Its not a signed statement from HH. It contradicts itself by saying Zambia has no capability to test and has only 18 ventilators then goes on to provide a list of mediocre steps. In view of the first statements around capability one can conclude Zambia is in a dire situation.

    Let only official govt statements be issued. Don’t alarm or confuse people. People should unite for the greater good and stop being divisive by attacking and undermining the govt. ALL OPPOSITION SHOULD JOIN WITH GOVT AND WORK AS ONE.

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  9. No. 1 is need ASAP, because if there any hibernating cases they will be detecting within the 14 days of incubation and no new arrival cases will enter into the country, this procedure can give the nation a time put up proper counter measures for the disease.

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  10. Hakiinde Hichilema putting on his Trumpian hat! Sources of COVID-19 public health advice do not include economicists nor the man on the Clapham omnibus. Liaise with official economics agencies for mitigation of the impacts of the pandemic if you want to be useful.

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  11. Thanks for the message. People will want to beat up the messenger, but the message is well-taken.

    I think ECL must be showing flu symptoms and is on self quarantine. Just saying.

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  12. Govt should now realize the devastating effect this virus will have on poor (HIPC) countries in which Zambia falls. If govt is being lackluster in its preparation they will be playing catchup to the virus rather being ready in order to effectively contain it.

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  13. It is too late to politicise SARS-CoV-2 infection/COVID 19. It is time for those who feel that they have somehow better ideas to share with the GRZ immediately instead of politicking. We feel the GRZ is working with very brilliant and experienced experts locally and co-operating partners that understand the pandemic more. As experts, we agree with the strategies the GRZ is putting in place. Let us all just support what the GRZ is doing and work together. Covid19 is fought in phases depending on the stages of the epidemic. The GRZ might have not taken some of the steps/strategies simply because the epidemic is still evolving and has not reached that stage.

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  14. kikikikiki, some country people in our nation make laugh in chinese, what makes them think we cant go through a 14 day lockdown? when people will still be providing goods and services, we have had parte after parte holidays before in this country going as long as 5 days, what is 14 days when people will continue working but restricted and regulated on how to provide their goods and services( not business as usual)

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  15. HH you seem not to understand the exact use of a mask and you think you can be President…this is not time for theatrical and nonsense attention seeking…People are dying and businesses are shutting down…leave masks for medical personnel please…trying so hard to use every opportunity for Political gain…its not working sir

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  16. I stopped watching ZNBC the time I went to Angola and learnt a lesson on the way Angola takes political stand.
    You will move from one place to another, town to town and village to village, Angolans are free to put up their party regalia, posts and flagging of their choice without intimidation from the ruling party leadership. They say we are one regardless of the political affiliation. I watched”Televisão Pública de Angola E.P. or TPA” , which is like ZNBC, the playing field is the same unlike ZNBC you will always find PF, PF, through out and when you hear something from UPND, NDC, or other is propaganda and hate speech. What do you learn from ZNBC, nothing and yet all Zambians contribute K5 each month but you will find that even workers are not paid on time.
    PEOPLE LIKE KAIZA ZULU,…

  17. Very firm and right to the point. A
    Foreigner would think that’s the
    President. Speaking very courageously.This was supposed
    To come from our president.

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  18. Read the proposals from the EFF to their government on COVID-19 then you will know that all these 13points Mr.HH has highlighted are just for political expedience. U even include Bill 10 smh this COVID-19 is a serious thing dont play politics sir.

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  19. Well done Mr Hichilema, incoming president of Zambia.Leading from the front is long overdue. Othershave gone into hiding kaya if we on autopilot now!!!

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  20. Our Kwacha can now get a Voter’s Card, having clocked K18!
    When both the Pilot and First Officer fail to fly the plane, any passenger with common sense and knowledge on how to save the situation should be allowed to do so and avert disaster! This is Free Advice! Take it or leave it! When your enemy says the truth, the truth does not cease to be the truth just because it’s coming from your enemy! If the Pilot is mute because he is in quarantine, the passengers need to know! This is the data we should have received from Day 1 about our preparedness as a country! Eighteen (18) Ventilators is a drop in the ocean!

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  21. Fellow Zambians , its time we come together to fight the COVID-19. What HH has offered may not be all the solutions but ways to explore further. When this virus is gone, we will look at the missed opportunities we wasted because of hatred and bitterness against political foes.
    God be with you all

  22. @Sifukele …. Kikikiki… you can be tempted to conclude like that. This is what weightlessness and Autopilot feels like … Tefintu! Kwacha is really in free fall. Let’s face it! We are on the road to Zim! I was in Zim when it all started and it started like this. People were hoping against hope that the slide would ease. When the exchange rate hit the thousands, that’s when people woke up, too late! The rest is history!

    • bILL 10 is making pf bribe mps to vote for the bill,so HH is saying we should remove that bill which is making pf waste a lot of tax payers money to pay or bribe mps to vote for the bill.on top of that pf are just concentrating much of their energies on bill 10 than fighting the corona virus with full force.i hope is clear now you children who don’t understand when one is speaking in proverbs or parables

  23. Image building is a problem because the paid image builders don’t realize that Zambians know that Hichilema can’t put together an article. So this is laughable

  24. bILL 10 is making pf bribe mps to vote for the bill,so HH is saying we should remove that bill which is making pf waste a lot of tax payers money to pay or bribe mps to vote for the bill.on top of that pf are just concentrating much of their energies on bill 10 than fighting the corona virus with full force.i hope is clear now you children who don’t understand when one is speaking in proverbs or parables

  25. KZ,
    You were and are still a poor advisor. Period. How can you say “You don’t need to wear the mask unless you are infected or in close proximity with some one who is infected.”

  26. Decontamination protocol.

    No one should be seen to be an expert in this field if
    1. They are no medical practitioners
    2. They are masquerading as genius advisers in this ordeal.
    3.They are devious crooks wanting to gain political capital out’a this serious pandemic.
    4. They are themselves suspects of the gassing episode.
    5. They want kulibonesha.
    6. They are the Withdraw Bill 10 their cracked @&&.
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    14 Cheap polical message from COVID 19ed h².

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  27. As with AIDS virus i find it hard to see why if we’re restricting hugging and handshake we cannot also restrict kissing and promiscuity by way of downright prohibition

  28. Our British brothers and sisters, you are in our thoughts and prayers. The president will soon issue a communique to his counterpart in the United kingdom to render his support during these difficult times. Please also note that the British high commission in London remains closed until further notice. Kzulu

  29. People may argue on the validity, practicability or motive behind the points HH has presented, but at least he has addressed the issue openly with reminders of where we are. Where is ECL? Hiding under the desk at
    State House? In terms of citizens listening and appreciating the seriousness of a matter such as this, there is a difference in relation to who stands in front of the nation and delivers the same. That is why other
    countries have seen their Heads of State in the forefront, alone or straddled with other medical icons. People need to see that their leader is at least purporting to be in control and reassuring them that if there is cooperation,
    problems can be surmounted. Not in abstract remote statements, but with visibility!

  30. By the way, was the mask super imposed on HH after the picture was taken? In the picture of his address on the Zambian Observer, he is not wearing a mask.

  31. What this nigga is putting on is a surgical nose/mouth mask.
    This knucklehead politicises everything.
    A pure u5 nincompoo.

    Yak!

  32. NINSHI BA KAINDE TABA KWATA IFYA KUCHITA OR HES SO DIS-ORGANIZED THAT HE DOESN’T NO HIS LIMITS AS A PARTY LEADER! OR HE THINKS BY COMMENTING ON EVERYTHING THAT’S WHEN HE WILL BE POPULAR! HE SHOULD LEAVE SUCH THINGS TO HIS SHADOW CABINET IN-CHARGE! OTHERWISE HE JUST ENDS UP LOOKING FOOLISH LIKE NOW, WHEN HE HAS TRANSGRESSED TO BILL-10. HICHILEMA WILL NEVER BE POPULAR IN ZAMBIA NO MATTER WHAT HE DOES OR SAYS BECAUSE OF PAST, PRIVATIZATION THIEF, HARD-CORE TRIBALIST!

  33. In his big oval head HH thinks he is the President..fortunately enough he is not and most likely he will forever be in opposition…he looks foolish addressing people with his mouth covered…what kind of logic is that…

  34. HH, I suppose this is how you would respond to COVID-19 if you were President of Zambia. Just a reflection on point number 6- ” Encourage all workers (public and private) to work from home. Questions arise……which workers- medical workers to workers to work from home? police or security personnel to work from home? bankers to work from home? filling station workers to work from home? miners to work from home? factory workers to work from home? supermarket and grocery workers to work from home? oh what are a measure….tell the nation what systems or measures you will put in place to ensure all the workers perform their duties satisfactorily from their homes and clients get the expected services. This is clearly impulse reaction and shows you are not ready to be president.
    If foreign…

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