Friday, June 14, 2024

Dr Chilufya is Mismanaging COVID-19 fight, He must go back to his Ministerial Duties-Dr Kasese-Bota

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A senior Medical Practitioner has pushed holes in Zambia’s response to Covid-19 stating that the response is characterized by confusion.

Dr Mwaba Kasese-Bota, a Public Health Expert and Epidemiologist who is currently undertaking a Harvard University Advanced Leadership programme in the U.S.A says the Zambian Cabinet is in a dichotomous state of affairs with a fairly sized lacuna in the middle.

Dr Kasese-Bota has lumped the blame squarely on Health Minister Dr Chitalu Chilufya stating that the Minister is making statements which are re-interpreted in less than 24-hour period by rank and file without the science and the political economy astuteness.

She also accused Dr Chilufya of mismanaging the experienced human resource available that the Ministry.

“The Ministry of Health is one ministry that has had a rich investment in the skills of the administrators and the health workers albeit inadequate resources for tools of the practice (technology, drugs, PPE). The Directorate experts including those in Public Health and Zambia National Public Health Institute are seasoned technocrats who have prevailed over various epidemics including HIV par excellence as the case could be, given our environment and circumstances. What is it that is making them fail to come to the grade expectation of their potential with Covid19? Why are they failing to provide the necessary advice worth the science so akin to them?”

She added, “In 2017 alone, the Directorate of Public Health had 4 directors changed one after the other. Furthermore, the roles of the directorates and those of the PS seem to fuse into the Minister’s job.”

Dr Kasese-Bota who also served as Zambia’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations under late President Michael Sata stated that Zambia is downplaying the seriousness of Covid-19.

“In Zambia, I see a tendency to minimize the seriousness of covid19 and always bring in another disease as being responsible for consequences including death. The press statements on mortality are relegating Covid19 and giving a sense of affected people as in a moribund state and covid19 being incidental finding.”

Dr. Kasese-Bota received her medical training at the University of Zambia, and earned her Master of Public Health, with an epidemiology major focused on HIV research, from the University of Alabama at Birmingham in the United States.

Below is her full statement

DR. CHITALU CHILUFYA MUST GO BACK TO HIS MINISTERIAL DUTIES

By Amb. Dr. Kasese Botha, Medical Doctor and Epidemiologist

My 2 cents worth No 2: May 10, 2020

DIAGNOSIS: MISDIAGNOSIS OF ZAMBIA RESPONSE TO COVID 19.

It is interesting to see ourselves as a country in such a frenzy of short shifting decisions and pronouncements over Covid19 leaving people of Zambia in a memory hole including my 13 year old daughter who has been asking such pertinent questions around decisions made on covid19, which remind me of the Emperor’s new clothes.

Covid19 has demonstrated the uniqueness of the globalized community and interconnectivity as well as interdependence of human race on each other including the whole environment as a place of commons in spite of the artificial borders and boundaries. With the world so globalized today, one wonders why Real time communication of events could not have helped us to prepare a better and well-coordinated response to Covid19.

Stately seems to be making statements which are re-interpreted in less than 24 hour period by rank and file without the science and the political economy astuteness.

DIFFERENTIAL DIAGNOSIS No 1:

Mismanagement of Human Resources at MOH.

The Ministry of Health is one ministry that has had a rich investment in the skills of the administrators and the health workers albeit inadequate resources for tools of the practice (technology, drugs, PPE). The Directorate experts including those in Public Health and Zambia National Public Health Institute are seasoned technocrats who have prevailed over various epidemics including HIV par excellence as the case could be, given our environment and circumstances. What is it that is making them fail to come to the grade expectation of their potential with Covid19? Why are they failing to provide the necessary advise worth the science so akin with them?

MOH has had 3 incidences in its journals where doctors have lost jobs enmass: The First one was under President Kaunda and the second one was under President Chiluba with Prof Nkandu Luo as Minister. In both instances, the doctors had declared a labour dispute boycotting delivery of health services over a period of time. One can argue the pros and cons of both actions but that is not in point at this juncture. The third round is under Minister Chitalu Chilufya where doctors have been fired, retired, demoted, and relegated to the observer positions except in the wards, without any industrial dispute or any documented stimulus framework requiring such action. In 2017 alone, the Directorate of Public Health had 4 directors changed one after the other. Furthermore, the roles of the directorates and those of the PS seem to fuse into the minister’s job.

DIFFERENTIAL DIAGNOSIS no 2; Mis-quantification of morbidity and mortality.

Covid19 is a new disease that has a whole array of symptoms and signs with the list evolving every week. Top-class scientists are locked down in labs to try and understand what the new disease is about and what it is doing to the human body. I was talking to a colleague whose perfectly healthy young brother suffered Covid19 and has sequalae of myocarditis post Covid19. The other suffered a blood clot etc…These cases are outside Zambia.

In Zambia, I see a tendency to minimize the seriousness of covid19 and always bring in another disease as being responsible for consequences including death. The press statements on mortality are relegating Covid19 and giving a sense of affected people as in a moribund state and covid19 being incidental finding. Having a quality and productive life with chronic morbidities is very normal in our environment ( as many people are from the 4th decade of life). Death due to covid19 is a preventable death even in one with comorbidities. The cause of death on the death certificate should be what transpired in the last minute of life and include as a consequence of Covid19 on existing conditions e.t.c. asthma if any. Briefing communication will give Covid19 as the cause and nothing less nothing more.

DIFFERENTIAL DIAGNOSIS No 3: Mismatched balance of Social and Economic Covid19 Response

It’s common knowledge that Zambia is in a difficult position for economic buoyancy. BOZ and the Minister of Finance have both given the difficult position that the country finds itself in. WHO has also given the position of covid19. Furthermore, Zambia itself has tested the effects of covid19 with significant disruption in health services even with such small numbers of confirmed cases. While covid19 has brought so much panic and fear for the disease by its very nature of infectivity and the severity of the disease in both wellness and existing morbidity state in people including the Minister of Health, the cabinet is equally panicky over covids19 effects on the economy. We saw one minister completely overlooking his public service role to inciting the union to rise against an employer. We saw Government detain a foreign national investor, grabbing his phones and stopping him from leaving the country until he reversed his company’s covid19 response which was not anyway different from what others were doing the world over. It would seem to me that Cabinet is in a dichotomous state of affairs with a fairly sized lacuna in the middle.

DIFFERENTIAL DIAGNOSIS No 4: Misdirection of Science in Policy Statements:

Zambians both young, old and all walks of life have received covid19 policies with some disquieting enthusiasm due to disconnect in policy with the Covid19 issues.  We now have the policy of the New Normal which is likely to drive down the efforts of fighting covid19. Globally accepted and agreed principles of disease epidemiology define a new normal as an endemic state. Endemic refers to the constant presence and/or usual prevalence of a disease in a population. Hence Inference of a new normal for Covid19 entails endemicity with covid19

MANAGEMENT: Is as per the differentials…

  1. Stabilization of MOH.. the minister to go back to his job of policy guidance, PS to take over the realms of controlling officer and Directors to be themselves as Technocrats and advisors who discharge their professional services without fear or favour.
  2. Cabinet to possibly move from the fences and fill the space of the lacuna in the middle. That’s where the political economic solutions balance is.

Amb Dr. Mwaba Kasese-Bota
Harvard Advanced Leadership Initiative Fellow 2020

Ambassador Representative to the United Nations 2012-2017

Medical Doctor/Epidemiologist
Political/International Relations/Public Health/ Sustainable Development Consultant

47 COMMENTS

  1. Minister Chilufya Accused Of Deliberately Misleading And Embarrassing Lungu.
    This is what we have always been saying. Now listen to what PF cafes are saying.
    President Edgar Lungu relaxes some of the Covid 19 measures, after consulting his number one advisor on health issues, Chitalu Chilufya, the minister of health.
    Within 24 hours, Chilufya goes to announce 85 more new cases and three deaths. These tests were conducted the day Chilufya was advising Lungu. So on which figures did Lungu bass his decision to relax safe distancing measures.
    This makes President Lungu look unconcerned, disorganised and disconnected from reality while minister Chilufya looks more serious and concerned.
    It’s interesting that Lungu himself said that he will listen to advice even from those who don’t mean…

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  2. Yeterday my son was mentioning figures to and I said to him this is a case of the Emperor’s New clothes. Public health and epidemiology is a science and it is not about causing fear in the population . it takes care of the economic implications of disease outbreaks. Zambia has enough technocrats who can take care of this covid-19 . using what we know in Science. the Minister should revert to his role as a policy maker . he should live the covid issue to technocrats.

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  3. Being in the USA for a week and becomes American, arrogant and patronising. I am sure she will remain there and claim asylum if she has not yet. I bet her accent has already changed too. Why doesn’t she concentrate on the diabolical situation in America where thousands have perished? She is not very clever because only a dull black person would go or remain in USA when it is reported blacks are disproportionately affected by covid that side. What a sell out she is. Here our deaths are not in double digits you f.oolish woman. Kz

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  4. Pathetic article repeating matters already in public fanfare. Don’t be personal but believe in data and evidence as basis for drawing inferences and making suggestions. President Lungu don’t listen to her, she’s just making noise. She has posted a very weak literature review.

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  5. When Chilufyanya became Monster of Health, he weeded out a lot of Senior Doctors and appointed Junior doctors with very little experience in sensitive positions. You have situations where a Junior Doctor becoming his or her teacher’s Boss! The traditional Protocol of Hiearchy that follows Seniority and experience was thus sacrificed.
    Chilufyanya has messed up!

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  6. The biggest mismanagement is in the money.
    Already we are seeing pf cadres with no knowledge or history of supplying medical equipment tendering for contracts. And of course they will get them, while those that have the technical skill and historical record will be ignored, even if they are offering better prices and quality.

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  7. Mr KZ sir, why dont you respond to the issues raised than attack the person. Does it make sense to relax the rules and only to have the highest number announced the following day. What is the correct interpretation of the “new normal”. I see a lot of objectivity in the article. How about when it comes to announcing of deaths, do you know that many people seem to believe that nearly all of us have the convid 19 virus and dont just know it? It is clear we have messed in the past, let us and those in power take some pieces and do the right from now on wards.

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  8. “Amb Dr. Mwaba Kasese-Bota
    Harvard Advanced Leadership Initiative Fellow 2020

    Ambassador Representative to the United Nations 2012-2017

    Medical Doctor/Epidemiologist
    Political/International Relations/Public Health/ Sustainable Development Consultant”

    This should give you an idea. Is the good lady trying to advertise herself in the midst of the pandemic? Too much English, no substance. That is the problem sometimes of being “over educated”. I read the article, the one thing that comes out clearly is “fire Chilufya”. Offer solutionS in simple language, what has been done wrong, how can it be corrected, what is the best policy going forward?

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  9. Weird comments attributed to Dr. Kasese-Bota and Dr. Puma bear some measure of unprofessional conduct of persons assumed to be qualified as Medical Doctors. Kasese-Bota and Puma’s reactions on COVID-19 are tainted by dangerous scores of political discourse. Their comments will embarrass their families,and friends. Worst still if Drs. Kasese-Bota and Puma run private Clinics, the enlightened clients will doubt their professional standing. These “Doctors” are worse than SANGOMAS as they have exposed hidden motives of WITCHES (MWITI, INDOSHI). They are effectively de-campaigning a known opposition party.
    s

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  10. Dr. Kasese-Bota and Dr. Puma have revealed some degree of inadequate medical training. Their negative reactions shuts them off from interacting with other colleagues in medicine- a profession that thrives on consultations with other doctors to seek specialised opinions to resolve treatments of patients. This assertion stems from the fact that Medicine is a diverse field that covers specialised postgraduate training in Cancer, Pathology, Pediatrics Urology, Microbiology (Bacteriology, Mycology, Virology). It is doubtful if these weird “Doctors” know the difference between cellular organisms and non-cellular particles termed VIRUSES. This matter needs the attention of the Medical Association of Zambia.

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  11. I support her, he shouldn’t even go back to his ministerial duties but fired. Why should we beat about the Bush? Let him fired. PF must go!

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  12. So why does’nt she go and take over if she is dissatisfied and knows how to do it better? I see more confusion where she is, where the president can’t even adhere to simple guidelines like wearing a mask – yet expects others to do so.

    I don’t envy health advisors in the US like Fauci who are permanently trying to counter misinformation by their boss in order to protect citizens from a dangerous virus but most of all from a careless leader who lies openly, issues false statements and even recommends wrong medicine.

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  13. It it so sad that as a nation and a people we are good to rush at downgrading a person, and especially if it is a woman and if educated The conclusion of either showing off ones achievement as basis for the comments is mere subjectivism. Unfortunately, Zambians are very good at that. Loyalty to an individual or a country is not built on the premise of always agreeing or accepting anything that does not make sense at all. Then, you become a ‘Zombie follower’ who can only function when the one with the spell over you moves his hand. We are not developing simply because of minions as demonstrated in most comments here. The purpose of education is to enlighten. Education is meant to change our thinking.

    Let us learn to be objective. Rationally and critically analyse the submission. The…

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  14. This woman is a personal friend to the Dr. Kaseba, the wife of the late President Michael Chilufya Sata. It was Dr. Kaseba who influenced her husband to appoint her as Zambia’s Permanent Representative to the UN. Reading between the lines she is bitter after being recalled by the Edgar Lungu Regime and want to be appointed to another government portfolio. You had your time mayo. Let also others enjoy. Stop being petty and Jealous..

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  15. It is unfair for individuals to generally criticise Dr Kasese Bota who raises critical and fundamental issues in the covid-19 pandemic management. Dr Kasese-Bota points out what has been presented to the Zambians by Dr Chilufya as inaccurate information with reasons given both medically and common sense. Those raising negative views should do so scientifically based on medical evidence as she has done or just shut-up.

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  16. Finally a voice of reason!! I applaud Dr.Kasese-Bota. We need science based actions and not the whaffling we have been seeing

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  17. I have not seen anything relating to Covid-19 mismanagement by Dr Chilufya as the title portray. She says the minister go back to ministerial dutes. What is doing is ministerial duties. Most often ministers just announce findings from technocrats. Is not the one doing the testing, is not the one doing the swabbing.
    The re-interpretation is everywhere even in America. Chloroquine, injection of disinfectant.
    Am in agreement with @ Pakundya that you are just advertising yourself to come and work in Zambia for fear of working in America. Come, but first you will be quarantined for 14 days if test positive you stay for another number of days before you start work.

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  18. Her attack is not just Dr Chilufya is the entire current government and past governments under Dr Kaunda, Dr Chiluba, Sata. She even say top class scientists are locked down labs to understand Covid 19. In Zambia what she sees is minimizing of the seriousness of the virus. Not knowing that those scientists are even exchanging information with Zambia. Don’t insult people who taught you.

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  19. Chitalu Chilufya is instilling fear in the people’s minds. Those figures are not correct. Please Dr Chilufya take s rest. Let someone take over from where you have left.

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  20. Here is a a Public Health Expert and Epidemiologist to tell you but as usual Lazy Lungu will ignore her….these are the people Lungu should have at State House for an unbiased opinion or heading the taskforce. You can not have a politician like Chilufya heading such a team even though he is a medical doctor. Lazy Lungu is a weak leader and will only act when its too late.

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  21. Tondo – Only people who dont have papers say that no wonder you have Ministers like Kamyomgo and Lusambo

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  22. A pot calling a kettle black…this woman is late Sata’s relative and she is a bandit just like the rest of PF bandit Minister…..she is useless makaka even worse than Chilufya….she went to pose on a UINCEF billboard…she’s a fake pompwe doctor

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  23. A pot calling a kettle black…this woman is late Sata’s relative and she is a bandit just like the rest of PF bandit Minister…..she is useless makaka even worse than Chilufya….she went to pose on a UINCEF billboard…she’s a fake pompwe doctor

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  24. I expected Dr. Kasese, educated a she is, to advise her medical colleagues using proper channels! This stunt to me appears as though she’s just venting her anger on a matter between herself and the current Government that is best known to herself!

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  25. Anonymous – Is she really? But there is some truth in what she is saying…look at the 22 cases in Ndola? All those are from Ndola Central Hospital and they are health workers so that should tell you that there are more cases on the ground and personnel lack PPE.

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  26. Truth hurts. And all those hurt by what the doctor has suggested are fake PF followers who will always support every decision PF makes whether wrong or right. A balanced government is one where you have people who are not afraid to speak up and stand for the truth not pepole who die inside hiding the truth and pretending to be in support when they know deep inside that wrong decisions are being made. Stop being wind followers. Learn to accept good advise and criticism that’s how you become better not always thinking you know better

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  27. She’s fake and big mouth for nothing….appointed by her relative late Sata and she brought the whole family to work at the Zambian UN permanent mission in New York….she’s just a registered nurse but she claims to be a doctor and she’s not even at Harvard

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  28. Her Excellency Dr Mwaba Kasese-Bota is Zambia’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations since January 2012. Prior to appointment as Ambassador to United Nations, Dr. Kasese-Bota worked as the HIV Orphans and Vulnerable Children and Youth Advisor for the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) in Zambia, a position she held since 2008. Prior to joining US Government, Dr. Kasese-Bota worked for the Zambia Ministry of Health in different positions. She was seconded to the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) Zambia office as the Prevention of Mother to Child Transmission of HIV (PMTCT) Advisor from May 2005 until December 2006. She was also seconded to the National AIDS Council as the Program Manager for the National HIV/AIDS multi-sectoral response.

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  29. And KZ in a real and good democracy those in power listen to critics and advise. PF lacks communication skills. Good listeners pay attention to facts whether someone is in support or opposition because out of what you may think is coming out of your opposition may actually be the key to help u build back your reputation but instead you play deaf to every advise how are u going to learn and change for the better if always think you like that? Learn to pay attention and find meaning. She has simply just suggested Wat PF can do but you can only see her qualifications bcz they scare u.

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  30. Dr. Kasese-Bota is a medical doctor and epidemiologist by training. She graduated from the University of Zambia with a Bachelor of Science in Human Biology. She attended the University of Zambia’s School of Medicine and graduated with a General Medicine and Surgery degree. From 2001 to 2002, she attended the University of Alabama in Birmingham, where she obtained a Master’s degree in Public Health and Epidemiology, with an emphasis on HIV research.

    Dr. Kasese-Bota has presented at international conferences on subjects related to HIV and AIDS as well as orphans and vulnerable children. She has sat on committees dedicated to the prevention of child abuse and neglect.

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  31. She didnt ask LT to publish her qualifications but am sure they deliberately listed them and her experience so as to make sure u understand she is talking from experience and she only wants what’s good for her country. Being in USA doesn’t mean she is no longer Zambian. She has every right to see her country do better by pointing out the truth and not dying hard for a wrong purpose like some PF die hards

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  32. We must be transparent and independent we must nt take sides that for some economical reasons. We must be true patriots standing for what’s right. If PF makes a right decision you will see us in support of that decision but if you keep making bad decisions and not listening to advise from experts then we will always be against you because all we want is for you to start making right decisions. Just try to call for a press where you will allow journalists and experts to ask questions and am sure you will understand that people have a lot of questions and doubts regarding your decisions and u will even fail to answer

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  33. KZ attempting to deflect and put out fires in the USA while his own shambolic house is heading towards a fireball .

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  34. Mzambia wa Zamani – Best thing to do is not read the impostor’s post just go straight to thumb down!

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  35. Nonsense Dr Kasese Bota! Dr Chilufya is the Head of the Ministry of Health and so he should be the one giving updates and leading the fight in the covid-19. I don’t think he has abandoned his other ministerial duties because of coronavirus

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  36. A summarized article would been helpful. Dr. Bota has a right to express her opinion, Dr. Chilufya should also consider the ratio of Dr. To Pat in hospitals/ clinics, assess the workload and put measures just incase of CoV outbreak. Including the small hospitals too. @ KZulu; consider the total Population of federal states in the USA or any Eu country and get accurate information on how to put CoV measures in the country. Debate is more achievable through maturity and Respect, regardless of academic / Professional or location, etc. thanks, SB.

  37. @Henry….that was absolutely unnecessary. Why cant you advance your arguement if you have one without insulting people coming up with advanced opinions?

  38. @Tarino Orange, thats why they say to hide information from an African, one must put it in writing.
    The CV clearly states she is a Medical Doctor and not a nurse or a mortician which you are.
    Grow a brain and concentrate on the substance coz therein lies wisdom and not ignorance that you are swimming in

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  39. KZ seems to be a disgruntled n bitter man, Regina please take care of him , make umulembwe n pepper if he’s nursing a hangover.

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  40. Well if he needs to go back to ministerial duties then you are supposed to come back to Zambia to take over to show how it’s done. Those who know do not just talk. Why are you in a foreign land instead of hopping on a plane?

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  41. Zambia Is doing fine as far as Covid-19 management is concerned. It is worrying to hear one Dr. saying “there are no Covid-19 deaths in Zambia”. another one saying we down playing Covid-19 deaths. Which is which mwebantu?? Are we for good or just trying to get at the government and try to bring it down? it is sad. The counties from where the comment is coming is in worse situation Covid-19 wise. Be wise people and discern. I agree someone said, the message is fire……..Sad

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