IT is disheartening to observe that the warnings of the second wave of a Covid-19 outbreak has gone unheeded, with many people completely abandoning preventive measures.
Worse still, it was confirmed yesterday that Zambia has recorded a new strain of the Coronavirus which spreads faster and carries a higher risk of fatality.
Health Minister Chitalu Chilufya says the virus is similar to the one reported in South Africa and parts of Europe.
Covid-19 cases have now reached 20,462 and in the space of a week hundreds of admissions in health facilities have been recorded across the country.
A good number of Covid-19 cases are receiving intensive care.
Despite the warnings and the amount of common knowledge around the coronavirus, people are still taking risks.
The tourist capital was hit hard by the global Covid-19 economic fall out and in light of the festive period has seen an influx of local tourist but this cheer has the potential to turn into a health disaster.
Sadly, some business entities that were closed down by the Livingstone City Council for none adherence to Covid-19 guidelines are few days ago, have resumed operations without meeting the set up standards.
A random check in the Tourist Capital revealed that only a few were still closed while those that were usually congested as Night Clubs were open and running.
This is despite the local authority’s decision to close entities that were not adhering to the health guidelines.
Six business places were closed down among them, Hungry Lion, Munali Cafe and Food Palace.
Others were YK Night Club, Chima Mobile and Airtel Centre and all of the premises are situated in the Central Business District.
Council Assistant Public Relations Officer, Harriet Malambo, had confirmed the closure of the six entities but could not state whether some of them had resumed operations.
Ms Malambo indicated that Hungry Lion and YK Night Club were closed down due to overcrowding, thereby posing a risk to both customers and employees.
The Minister of Health has said that Zambia is experiencing a second wave of the Covid-19 which has started claiming lives at a higher rate than before.
Speaking during the routine Covid-19 update in Lusaka yesterday, Dr. Chilufya said this month alone,2,600 have been recorded with 28 deaths.
He said the number of people requiring hospitalisation and oxygen therapy has increased, with the age group mostly affected ranging from 17 to 82.
The minister said the majority are aged between 25 and 45.
Dr. Chilufya attributed this to what he termed as super spreader events that young people like attending such as concerts and night clubs.
He has warned that failure to adhere to Covid-19 health guidelines could see more people getting infected and overwhelming the health facilities.
Sadly even expectant mothers are amongst those admitted to health facilities due to Covid-19.
This information comes at time when many people had relaxed their guard owing to the low numbers on infection recorded in November, but it is now abundantly clear with the surge of new cases that the second wave is here.
We cannot ignore the facts and we can do well to avoid a lock down by just sticking to public health guidelines.
And Zambia National Public Health Institute Director Victor Mukonka has advised people to avoid overcrowded places.
Professor Mukonka said the country cannot afford to continue recording more infections as a lot of people may die.
He said if the current wave of the Covid-19 is not stopped, the country may head into a catastrophic situation.
In light of the recent figures, there is serious need for individual commitment to avoid the spread of the coronavirus by abiding to the basic rules.
Let us avoid going out, if you do go out in public wear a face mask and observe social distance. Also observe hand hygiene.
With the day slowly rolling over into the year 2021 let us not create another disaster year but instead live with the hope of a healthier and prosperous New Year!