By President Edgar Lungu
On Monday 23rd March, 2020, I called for an urgent Cabinet Meeting to discuss various cross-cutting policy matters aimed at strengthening multisectoral efforts to contain the spread of COVID-19 in Zambia.
The key outcome of this Cabinet Meeting was the approval of the COVID-19 Contingency Plan, which received overwhelming support from all stakeholders including; Cooperating Partners, the Private Sector as well as Society at large. This ensured the effective implementation of my Government’s innovative Contingency Plan.
As a result of our above mentioned collective efforts, Zambia has been ranked among the only 6 countries in the world which have been declared ‘the safest travel destinations’ during this COVID-19 era. Zambia has been ranked the 4th safest travel destination, and it is the only African country among the 6 countries from different parts of the world.
According to the highly respected Travel company ‘Wego Travel’, which is used by millions of people worldwide each month, the above classification was based on: epidemiological criteria; the ability of countries to contain the pandemic; attained stability over a long period of time; and the efficiency of the health system, particularly, the clinical capacity for intensive care rooms and efficiency of the medical staff.
According to ‘Wego Travel’, the only six (06) countries which are safe destinations in order of ranking are: Australia which is ranked first, New Zealand in second, followed by Singapore in third, Zambia has been ranked fourth, Cuba is fifth, and Saudi Arabia is sixth.
In view of this, let me take this opportunity to commend our health workers who have demonstrated a great sense of responsibility, professionalism, selflessness and determination in our fight against COVID-19, in order to protect every Zambian life.
I also want to thank our cooperating partners, the private sector and all citizens who have exhibited high levels of collective responsibility and behavioral change, thus helping to prevent the unchecked spread of the calamitous coronavirus in Zambia.
As I conclude, let me remind each one of us that we are not yet in a post COVID-19 era.
I am, therefore urging you all to continue abiding by all COVID-19 preventative measures which my Government, through the Ministry of Health, has put in place according to best experiences in Global Health.
We are a nation of faith. Let us continue to face the future with renewed vigour, assured that we shall overcome our challenges and achieve the development goals which we have set for ourselves. Together, we shall achieve this, and so much more.
May God bless you all and keep you safe from COVID-19.