ITH the rest of the world witnessing a second wave or Covid-19 infections, it remains a concern that many citizens still seem comfortable with risking the future of our health system by not complying to public health guidelines.
The Solwezi Municipal Council is saddened on the low levels of adherence to Covid-19 guidelines among members of the public which is causing a risk to others, ZANIS reports.
The recent cases of Covid-19 infections have been recorded in the higher populated towns.
Zambia has recorded 18,716 coronavirus cases with 373 Covid-19 related deaths.
Despite the continued numbers of cases recorded, members of the public still seem to be risking infection and spread of Covid-19.
Similar to other councils, who are the primary providers of municipal services such as sanitation and management of public facilities.
Speaking at the opening of the full council meeting, Solwezi Mayor, Nicholas Mukumbi observed that most people have stopped following the health guidelines on Covid-19.
Mr Mukumbi called on members of the public to remain vigilant by not relenting in adhering to public health guidelines.
“You will recall that early this year, tough and drastic decisions had to be made by the central government in the wake of the COVID-19 with the sole purpose of preserving lives of the Zambian people such as the closure of churches, schools, bars among others,” he said.
He further urged health inspectors and front line workers in the fights against COVID-19 to continue with their work to ensure public health preventive measures are strengthened and minimise the impact of the pandemic.
He said fighting Covid-19 calls for concerted efforts from various stakeholders.
“As a local authority, we embrace partnership in order to prevent and mitigate its impact”, he said.
He further said that despite having had a rough year, all members of staff have always been paid their monthly salaries.
“Despite 2020 being a rough year where we experienced a reduction in revenue by 14.67 percent in the first half of the year, I am glad that not even one month has passed without Solwezi municipal council members of staff getting paid their monthly salaries”, Mr Mukumbi said.
According to the World Health Orgnaisation, the best way to reduce possibilities of the coronavirus spread is to avoid the three Cs – spaces that are closed, crowded or involve close contact.
Outbreaks have been reported in restaurants, choir practices, fitness classes, nightclubs, offices and places of worship where people have gathered, often in crowded indoor settings where they talk loudly, shout, breathe heavily or sing.
The risks of getting Covid-19 are higher in crowded and inadequately ventilated spaces where infected people spend long periods of time together in close proximity. These environments are where the virus appears to spreads by respiratory droplets or aerosols more efficiently, so taking precautions is even more important.
The basic health guidelines are:
• Regularly and thoroughly clean your hands with an alcohol-based hand rub or wash them with soap and water. This eliminates germs including viruses that may be on your hands.
• Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth. Hands touch many surfaces and can pick up viruses. Once contaminated, hands can transfer the virus to your eyes, nose or mouth. From there, the virus can enter your body and infect you.
• Cover your mouth and nose with your bent elbow or tissue when you cough or sneeze. Then dispose of the used tissue immediately into a closed bin and wash your hands. By following good ‘respiratory hygiene’, you protect the people around you from viruses, which cause colds, flu and Covid-19.
• Clean and disinfect surfaces frequently especially those which are regularly touched, such as door handles, tap handles and phone screens.
With the knowledge that we now have about coronavirus, it is hardly believable that Zambians can claim ignorance.
On buses, in market places, shops, class rooms, offices and even places of worship we must continue to observe the public health guidelines.
By keeping possible infections at a minimum we can assure a healthier population and the resumption of regular daily conduct.
The concerns expressed by the Solwezi Council are concerns that apply to all parts of the country.
Covid-19 is very real and it is only individual adherence to public health guidelines that will save us from the second wave.