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Alba Iulia
Tuesday, June 2, 2020

Coronavirus cases in Zambia jump to 12 as President Lungu announces further restrictions to deal with the spread

Headlines Coronavirus cases in Zambia jump to 12 as President Lungu announces further...

The number of Coronavirus have risen to 12 from the initial 3. President Edgar Lungu has announced the new development in a televised address to the nation Wednesday morning.

The head of state announced that 10 more cases have now been identified bringing the number to 12 and said 11 of them had travelled abroad in recent weeks and acquired the disease from the outside country while 1 had come into contact with them locally and that they have all been quarantined.

The President has since directed that all missions abroad and departments of Immigration must be alert to review the issuance of visas for people wanting to travel to Zambia as well as all ports of entry into the country for all travellers from countries affected by COVID-19.

“Travellers will be allowed entry into Zambia, however, upon screening those who exhibit symptoms they will be quarantined in a medical facility for treatment while all other travellers without symptoms will be quarantined for atleast 14 days at thier own cost” President Lungu said.

The President has also emphasized that public gatherings such as conferences, weddings ,funerals, festivals are to be restricted to atleast 50 people subject to them complying with public health authority guidelines while restaurants must operate only on a take-away delivery basis.

“All bars, night clubs ,casinos, cinemas and gyms must close. All international flights to and from Harry Mwanga Nkumbula, Simon Mwansa Kapwepwe and Mfuwe international airports are suspended instead all international flights should land at and depart from Kenneth Kaunda International Airport only to ensure efficiency and effective screening of travellers,as well as following them up by our health authorities” he announced.

He said these measures shall be effected from midnight on Thursday 26 March 2020 and shall be observed for the initial period of 14 days and will be constantly reviewed depending on how the pandemic evolves.

“It’s the duty of my government to ensure that every Zambian is protected from this disease.My government has been taking proactive measures even before the current cases were identified and pronounced and went ahead to directed that schools, colleges and universities be closed prematurely to protect pupils and students, teachers and lecturers” he said.

And the head of state has expressed concern with of adherance to the measures that have been put in place stating that he has personally observed multitudes patronizing bars or freely hugging and shaking hands at funerals contrary to health advise.

“Let me say this, if your lifestyle has not changed in the past few weeks then you are doing something wrong and endangering both yourself and your neighbor and loved ones” he observed.

President Lungu has also thanked donor community , business houses, NGOs, traditional leaders ,the church and citizens for actively supporting and working with government in addressing and mitigating the pandemic at various levels and further advised for community participation in order to win the coronavirus fight.

 

Below is the full speech

 

Countrymen and Women,

The world today faces one of its greatest adversaries that threatens mankind. The Coronavirus disease. The Coronavirus disease, also called COVID-19 has decimated lives across the world.

Countrymen and Women,

This virus is mean, devastating and morbid. A few weeks ago, it was heard from a distance in china; today it is in the neighbourhood. Today, you and i are not safe anymore and until we comply with what the health authorities are saying, it may spread quickly and endanger our lives.

Countrymen and Women,

Zambia is landlocked; and that means, with a crisis of this magnitude, we shall find ourselves under forced lockdown if all our neighbours close their borders. This situation would make us economically vulnerable and weaker.

In coming up with measures to stem the spread of COVID-19, my government has devised a phased strategy that will take into consideration interventions for the low and high income groups, low and high density areas, rural and urban areas. It is with this in mind that essential businesses dealing in goods and services will be kept running.

Countrymen and Women,

I have gone round the city and i have seen for myself that many among us are not taking this COVID-19 seriously. I have seen multitudes patronising bars or freely, hugging and shaking hands at funerals, contrary to health advise.

Let me say this; if your lifestyle has not changed in the past few weeks, then you are doing something wrong and endangering both yourself, your neighbour and your loved ones.

Countrymen and Women,

It is the duty of my government to ensure every Zambian is protected from this disease. My government has been taking proactive measures even before the current cases were identified and pronounced. I went ahead and directed that schools, colleges and universities be closed prematurely to protect pupils and students; teachers and lecturers.

Exactly nine days after the first two COVID-19 cases were announced, ten more cases have now been identified bringing the number to twelve. Eleven of them had travelled abroad in recent weeks and acquired the disease from outside the country.

One had come into contact with them locally, and they have all been quarantined.

Countrymen and Women,

You are all aware that, my cabinet has already approved the COVID-19 contingency plan, including its budget and directed the ministry of finance to mobilise resources to enable line ministries, private sector and other key stakeholders to contain and combat the spread of the Coronavirus disease in a multisectoral and coordinated manner.

Countrymen and Women,

Let me now state the measures my government has started undertaking and will continue to undertake in phase one to mitigate the impact of COVID-19:

  1. The Zambian missions abroad and department of immigration must be alert to review the issuance of visas for people wanting to travel to Zambia, as well as at all ports of entry into the country for all travellers from countries affected by COVID-19;

  1. Travellers will be allowed entry into Zambia, however, upon screening those who exhibit symptoms they will be quarantined in a medical facility for treatment, while all other travellers without symptoms will be quarantined for at least 14 days at their own cost;

  1. Government has suspended non-essential foreign travel, particulary, to countries which have confirmed COVID-19 cases;

  2. Public gatherings such as conferences, weddings, funerals, festivals are to be restricted to at least 50 people subject to them complying with public health authority guidelines;

  1. Restaurants must operate only on a take-away and delivery basis;

 

  1. All bars, night clubs, cinemas, gyms and casinos must close;

  1. All international flights to and from harry Mwaanga Nkumbula, Simon Mwansa Kapwepwe and Mfuwe international airports are suspended, instead, all international flights should land at and depart from Kenneth Kaunda International airport only, to ensure efficient and effective screening of travellers, as well as following them up by our health authorities;

Countrymen and Women,

The measures i have just announced shall be effected from midnight on thursday 26th march, 2020 and shall be observed for the initial period of 14 days. However my government shall constantly review these measures depending on how the pandemic evolves.

I will at an opportune time provide further update and guidance on the Coronavirus disease and government’s continued response. In the meantime, the council of ministers’ on disaster management shall be providing regular updates periodically.

Countrymen and Women,

I know there will be a significant negative socio-economic impact to our communities and the country at large. Therefore, all these measures are critical to ensuring that we avert an imminent socio-economic and health crisis.

Countrymen and Women,

Let me take this opportunity to thank the donor community, business houses, ngos, traditional leaders, the church and citizens for actively supporting and working with the government in addressing and mitigating this pandemic at various levels.

Remember, we are at war, a public health war against COVID-19 where everyone must stand up and be counted. The health guidelines of frequently washing hands, sanitising, cleaning our environment, not shaking hands and observing social distance from each other are key to our survival.

This fight cannot be won without community participation. Let us be each other’s brother and sisters keeper and encourage one another to seek medical attention whenever one feels unwell and exhibits flu like symptoms.

I have no doubt that, together, we shall fight and conquer the Coronavirus disease in Zambia.

I thank you and God bless you all.

[Read 5,304 times, 1 reads today]

54 COMMENTS

  1. there was 2, then 3, now 12, am concerned that 1 got it as result of contact with those that had traveled abroad, how many did they get in contact with upon arrival at the airpoint until they were quarantined?

  2. He has finally gathered a bit of courage to face the people.
    Thank you sir. Better late than never.
    Beware on the minions who are around you whispering lies in your ears and claiming loyalty. We know for certain that they are after your blood. They are keen benefit from you while you are in power. But as soon as they get rid of you and put their man, they will destroy you.

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  3. At least that’s a step in the right direction. Kudos to the president. Enforce more measures pertaining to economic stability too as the country undergoes this unexpected challenge. In this we are all together.

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  4. Lockdown is most effective in the early stages.

    Why this kuwayswaya mentality? Be bold and save lives. The economy can be revived later.

  5. From 3 to 12? 300% increase in few days!! I am worried. Ba Chilufya why did u not tell us about this increase? Are u failing to do even basic work or is it laissez faire attitude as usual? Guys we will perish like cochroaches sprayed with doom if we take this virus lightly. U people with medical knowledge tell us the kind of food to eat to increase our immune system during this period. Food and hygiene should be our first line of defense.

  6. Why must people be allowed to continue travelling abroad when all other nations are closing their borders? Unless you stop all cross-border travelling and suspend all international flights it will be extremely difficult to monitor the trend of infections and control the rise of further cases.

  7. This disease is highly contagious. Not surprising therefore that numbers should multiply in a short space of time. But the measures announced now, if adhered to, should start to reverse things.

  8. Those arriving with no symptoms will be quarantined where? Returning Zambians with no symptoms will be quarantined where?

  9. Tardy measures!
    You are asking people to heed to measures but you don’t want to suspend this importation of cases. If you had acted early, we would not be talking of 12 cases. If you do the multiplication, each of these cases may have come in contact with say 10 people each on average. And each of those ten also had 10 contacts. These contacts include touching of infected public surfaces like hand rails and lifts at the malls. Don’t be surprised if you hear tomorrow that the cases have increased by 50! That is what happens when a leader takes things lightly! We have made the same mistake America made – closing borders late! Too little too late!

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  10. When chilufya was addressing da nation u were saying where is da President, nw him(President) has spoken u r again saying why chilufya ddnt tell us abt 10 pipo. Lol

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  11. Thanks Mr. President for coming out in the open over this COVID-19 though I am worried about you. You don’t look yourself why? Hope no whites and chochs from COVID-19 most affected countries visited you in last two months. Novertheless, I wish you well as you continue to lead us through this difficult time. God bless you!

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  12. He came out after I made a lot noise! Congratulations for being courageous to face our people.

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  13. Lock the country down. Zambia has no capacity to face a full scale manifestation of the virus. Allowing more people to come into the country is welcoming the virus much more. Those people must stay quarantined wherever they are. Poor countries like ours without adequate resources to face such a full scale pandemic have to simply lockdown.

  14. The wise speak when they have sufficient information to make an informed statement. While the childish ones rush to make press briefings while wearing masks for political mileage. I told you to be patient and that as government we have to ensure that any action we take is accounted for by evidence from specialist etc. There is no need to expect the president to issue statements carelessly. Quality over quantity. Now we await opposition to criticize this statement by his excellency. After allzambians are now used to opposition being mere critics with nothing to contribute. As the saying goes, empty tins make a lot of noise.. tarino we await your noise. Kz

    Director of higher intelligence within OP

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  15. When our students in China were not allowed to come back home due to the outbreak in that country they came out just fine due to the lockdown in China. So mr lungu why can’t you learn from this simple illustration I have given. Lock the country down save many poor people. Our health facilities are poorly and inadequately equipped to face this scourge despite PF boasting about infrastructure development in the health sector.

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  16. 12 cases huh? The real number must be 10 times over. Our ministry of health is not adequately prepared. Your miniskirt of misinformation Dora has been giving half reports.

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  17. Conferences, funerals, weddings to be restricted to ‘at least’ 50 people. ‘At least’ your excellency means ‘minimum’. He should have said a maximum of 50 people. Whoever wrote that speech for him these people don’t they edit the President’s speeches? All airports should have been shut down completely at least for the next two weeks. Only cargo should be allowed in and people carrying cargo should be thoroughly screened. No passengers. These are the measures that can bring the epidemic under control. And the way the President looked when delivering his address to the Nation as if he was just forced to do so.

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  18. What happened to the term prevention is better than cure? Zambia can’t afford cure we are poor and poorly equipped since all our money has gone in buying useless fire trucks, expensive road construction, paying illegal ministers, funding staged by-elections etc, prevention is best most economical approach Zambia can take right now amidst the economic slump in the country already. Lockdown now.

  19. Continue criticising while we continue to work for our people . To all those that want to genuinely work with us you know my contact number and email address. Even on Facebook search for me. Let us leave opposition crying over an election they lost years ago kiki

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  20. and HH thinks this is a time for some Political mileage… No…this is the time to unite and work with the government and help financially also since you tout yourself as the richest man in Zambia

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  21. Finally , after seeing Hh and Ck waking him up from his hibernation.

    Lungu you should have done this week instead of waiting to be woken up by the opposition……

    BTW, lungu , we will not forget PF gassing of our people and will not forget to always remind you for an update on investigations

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  22. Finally , after seeing Hh and Ck waking him up from his hibernation.

    Lungu you should have done this week instead of waiting to be woken up by the opposition……

    BTW, lungu , we will not forget PF gassing of our people and will not forget to always remind you for an update on investigations

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  23. Bring in real experts from China and let them come and teach our “Health Experts” on the best practices. Why invent a will when China has successfully controlled the outbreak? Half measures will not take us anywhere. Why allow a gathering of 50 people? This virus has no gathering limits.

  24. 14 days is too little time. It should be at least a month. Bars, gyms etc should be closed until July/August when it gets warmer. Be sure those are the single most dangerous centres of transmission. However, a better idea is to allow bars to become off licences with no gathering in
    Sure or out. Let them sell alcohol unopened as takeaways and not allow lingering by groups.

    Funeral gatherings should not be 50 people only be for the immediate family, Father. Mother, children of deceased. They can hold memorial services when the danger is passed for all other family

  25. I watched the footage and I can conclude that Edgar Lungu is sick. He has just wen forced to appear to us. Anyway get well soon sir and I pray for your quick recovery.

  26. A dollar short and a day late! Have the decision makers looked at the Italy case? The lesson from Italy is that you should not be reactive to unfolding situations. If you are reacting, it is too late! We have missed the opportunity to prevent a foothold of the virus. Whatever, the decision makers decide to do now, it will not prevent the spread of the disease to thousands of Zambians. Prepare for the worst folks, this is going to be a challenging time.

  27. 60% of passengers ka? Ok, will the levy’s we pay be cut as well, will the fuel prices be cut as well, will the owners of the busses cut their cash ins as well? Will customers accept an increase to cover the losses? The distances we travel won’t shorten because of the virus. Let’s be factual having considered every possible effect before announcing decisions.

  28. If you say that someone has closed or shut the stable door after the horse has bolted, you mean that they have tried to prevent something happening but they have done so too late to prevent damage being done.
    The MOH Minister was saying we can’t stop people from coming into the country for fear of sounding Xenophobic. It has been demonstrated that countries that have effected early shutdowns have have had fewer numbers compared to those who acted too late!

  29. First we had two cases then another one and today 12 in total?. A clear sign that this is without a doubt going to be a problem. Surely we should all adhere to hygiene to protect our families and friends loved ones too. Together we can fight this pandemic as one Zambia one nation.
    God help us!

  30. This man needs new speech writers, if Zambia was going to war with such a speech its soldiers would be defeated before even a shot is fired, he is just looking for his excuses for his own failings no optimism ….this man is not a leader and should seek urgent medical assistance as he looks poorly …please Edgar go back to sleep you lazy sausage

  31. A Priest flew from Italy to Kenya via Johannesburg. After conducting mass and a funeral and traveling by public minibus, he has been diagnosed with Corona Virus infection. The 50 people minimum or maximum is neither here nor there! We are still enabling the spread of the infection! Shut down all gatherings! Funerals should be limited to family members!

  32. He should have shown himself a long time ago. He only appears after people have complained and when he sees the opposition taking the initiative.
    Some of the restrictions should have been imposed at least 2 weeks ago – like restricting people from most affected regions from coming into the
    country. Whether other countries made earlier mistakes or not, it means we had earlier opportunities to make headway in slowing it down.

  33. You will die like flies and you will even remember the donor countries you were insulting that this is our country you can go away

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  34. Stale address to the nation, all was said 3 days ago. This play catch up will continue as we have now received latest trends of coronavirus from Europe and America.

  35. Mr Trible HH is making a speech on Prime TV. So uninspiring, the language, the choice of words, the English language, doesn’t even know how to structure his vocabulary and speech, nor speaking to the current situation, did he do English literature? The chap doesn’t come across as a leader. I wonder why Trible thinks that he is presidential material. But you can forgive Trible, like every opposition thinks, we have seen all manner of presidents in the history of the country no names mentioned, so everyone thinks why not me?

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  36. Earlier on the same Prime TV, I just managed to watch a speech by Nervous Mumba, just managed. Surely is this the best that Zambia could receive from God when we were queuing up for leaders?

  37. They should give the real numbers effected probably 80 now.

    Also everything including work should be closed for 3 weeks like india.

  38. KZ am convinced that was a recorded, why did he allow journalist to fire questions? missing those days we had presidents who would take questions from the press not pa facebook we don’t even know if it is him or someone else running his page.

  39. Step in the right direction though not enough and too late.Why allow gatherings of at least 50 people?Are you sure all the 50 will be covid-19 negative?Why not ban all gatherings?
    Poor Africa has a problem.If the virus started in Africa, it would not have spread to Europe,America or Asia because these continents would have NOT allowed any one from Africa to enter their countries.Now because of pleading for aid Africa has allowed itself to be infected with the virus because it has allowed people from developed nations enter Africa…why? Africa must wake up from its sleep.

  40. KZ,IS THIS TRUE?
    Lungu digging his own grave and isn’t wanted in PF – Minister
    EDGAR Lungu is digging his own grave because come the PF general conference, the rug under his feet is going to be pulled, a Cabinet minister says.
    The minister and a PF central committee member met this reporter last week and gave a long-winded interview.
    Except for nods, laughter, from time to time intermittent comments of ‘yea, true,’ the central committee member did not speak.
    The duo requested anonymity.
    The minister is concerned that President Lungu has “quarantined” himself amid concerns of the coronavirus instead of addressing the nation.
    “Not all is rosy” in the ruling PF, the source said.
    “The confusion in the opposition is very easy to notice and that’s how deeper investigative journalists…

  41. Am very upset why should you be forced to address the people when you know this is a matter of death and life and now it’s too late only God will save Zambia if Italy,USA and china can suffer what is Zambia he was busy saying the government is ready if any one dies their blood will be on your heads PF government.

  42. I think Africa needs a new generation of leaders who are not always going to bow down to the west through borrowing and depending on the west for everything for sure if this corona virus was from Africa it was not going to enter America or China they will be a ban of all African countries immediately Africa we have all the mineral resources but i don’t know why we always beg now we are going to die because of our own stupidity lets do away with these old people leading us now we need people like Julius Malema.

  43. Bwana Lungu those half measures are not enough. Zambai will still be highly exposed and it will come back to you for inadequate prevention.

  44. From two to 12 these leaders are just playing politics even with death why are they hiding the numbers or they thought they can cure them without the country knowing i suspect the numbers mighty be more than 12 tomorrow you will hear 30 because they can’t say the truth.

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