By Dr. Nevers Mumba President
I wish to start by thanking the government and the health workers in particular for the determined efforts being made to fight COVID-19. Every Zambian who washes his or her hands, every Zambian who respects the required social distancing and predominantly stays home should also be saluted. The war before us must be fought by all Zambians and must be fought with unflinching resolve.
While we commend the government for the efforts so far, I wish to state that we have fallen far below the required action. Zambia has opted for half measure responses to the deadly coronavirus pandemic. For some reason, we seem to believe that this virus can be managed by half measures.
We urge the government to immediately take decisive action by completely dissolving all social gatherings and direct that all Zambians stay home for at least a period of two weeks while we observe the trends of this lethal virus. The current half measure interventions shall cost us a massive loss of life if the virus gets into Zambia. We MUST stop it.
We must close the borders including airports. We must suspend passenger public transportation. We must ensure that the lockdown is effected in good time. It is better to inconvenience ourselves today than to die as fools tomorrow. God has given us a lead window in which we can prepare for the coming storm. We must NOT wait for the storm to arrive. Leadership is about preparing for the future with a view of saving lives.
During this lead window, DMMU must be the busiest department in the nation as they prepare survival food packs, water and essential medicines. This maybe a costly exercise but it is cheaper than waiting for the arrival of the disaster. Zambia can not afford to host the coronavirus. We do not have the resources to fight it. Lives shall be lost immeasurably. If we need help from the World Health Organization, we must ask for it now and not when the virus strikes. We are preparing for a real war. We need to make real preparations. All those who need to be quarantined MUST be quarantined without exception. The Western World is leading by example. Prime Minister Trudeau and his wife in Canada are under quarantine. Angela Merkel of Germany is under quarantine. Our own neighbor President of Botswana, is under quarantine. This is how seriously the international community is handling this plague.
We may wish to find out why the more powerful nations of the world have resorted to draconian methods to fight this scourge. This is what is expected of them. That’s why they were elected into office. To protect their citizens at any cost. They are willing to spend money they don’t have, to fight this invisible enemy. We must do the same. Zambians expect nothing less from our leaders. This early warning is meant to remind the government that if they lose this opportunity and we begin to die as fools, the Zambian people may not take it kindly. WE MUST ACT NOW.
While we trust in God’s ability to protect us from this looming pandemic, we are expected to do our part.
We urge the government to declare a LOCKDOWN that will give us time to assess the trend of this plague.
We shall all stand with the government during this time, to ensure that we keep our nation safe.